Dai Ninh Hydropower Project, Dong Nai River, Vietnam

In spite of serious concerns regarding resettlement issues, the Dai Ninh Hydropower Project moved forward. While the produced electricity benefits Vietnamese growing urban areas, social and environmental costs are largely carried by ethnic minorities.


In order to serve the country’s growing demand for electricity, the government has planned and established a series of hydroelectric projects along Vietnam’s rivers. Among these projects is the 300MW Dai Ninh Hydro Plant, located on the Dong Nai River, a main tributary of the Saigon River. In spite of serious concerns regarding the dam’s impact on people and the environment, the project moved forward and was commissioned in 2008 [1;2].

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Basic Data
NameDai Ninh Hydropower Project, Dong Nai River, Vietnam
ProvinceBinh Thuan Province
SiteHam Thuan Bac District
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Dai Ninh hydroelectric plant has an installed capacity of 300MW, provided by two turbines of 150 MW each. Annual electricity production was reported to amount to 1.2 billion kWh per year. It is a multipurpose project that also provides irrigation infrastructure to the surrounding areas [1].

The total project size amounts to 2,000ha, 1,900ha of which are covered by the reservoir. Around half of the reservoir land was agricultural land, the other half contained forest land [1].

The dam is operated by Vietnamese state-owned company EVN (Eletricity of Vietnam) [1].

A feasibility study was financed by the World Bank in 1995 [3]. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement plans were conducted by the Vietnam Power Investigation and Design Company No.2 (PIDC 2) and the Italian Lotti & Associati company [2].

Another feasibility study was financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1996 [2]. It was conducted by the engineering consultant company SNC-Lavalin [1].

The total investment cost was estimated to amount to 440 million USD. The dam was largely funded through Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA). 85% of the investment was provided through a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the rest was provided by the Vietnamese government [1].

The project was constructed by Japanese Hazama company and a Japanese-Vietnamese Joint Venture Kajima-Kumagai-Gumi-Song Da Corporation [4].

Technical equipment was reportedly designed, manufactured and installed by Toshiba and Nissho Iwai. Project consultation was provided by Japanese companies Nippon Koei and Electric Power Development Corporation [1].

It was reported that up to 14,000 people were forcefully displaced, and that several tens of thousands livelihoods were negatively affected [1].
Project Area (in hectares)2,000
Level of Investment (in USD)440,000,000 USD
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population14,000 resettled, tens of thousands negatively affected downstream
Start Date01/1995
Company Names or State EnterprisesThe Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) from Vietnam
Vietnam Power Investigation and Design Company No.2 (PIDC 2) (PIDC 2) from Vietnam - consultancy, engingeering
Lotti & Associati S.P.A from Italy
SNC-Lavalin from Canada - engineering, consultancy, construction
Toshiba from Japan
Nippon Koei from Japan - consultancy, engineering
J-Power / Electric Power Development Corporation (EPDC) from Japan - energy industry
Hazama Ando Corporation from Japan - construction
Song Da Corporation from Vietnam - construction
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)

Government of Vietnam
International and Financial InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) from Japan
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersInternational Rivers

Probe International
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Ethnic minorities K'ho, Churu; Chil; Cham, and Raglai
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Other Environmental impacts
OtherPotential increases of water-borne diseases
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project goes on.
Sources and Materials

[1] Power-technology.com online. "Dai Ninh Hydro Plant, Vietnam" (accessed 15/7/2015)
[click to view]

[2] International Rivers, 2001 (online): "Planned Dams in Vietnam" (accessed 15/7/2015)
[click to view]

[4] Probe International (15/10/2008): "Rethinking Japanese ODA in Vietnam's electricity industry " (accessed 15/7/2015)
[click to view]

Other Documents

[3] World Bank 1995. Document on the Viet Nam-Dai Ninh Hydro Power Project Source: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1997/09/05/000009265_3971229181727/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
[click to view]

Dai Ninh dam Source: https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/38906870
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorA. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB)
Last update16/07/2015