By Toui Tre News
Hong River, Vietnam, May 7, 2016
A proposed multibillion-dollar project to be implemented on the Hong (Red), a river crucial to the eco-social development of northern Vietnam that runs through nearly ten provinces, is also meant to connect local water transportation routes with China, fueling concerns over its feasibility and environmental impacts.
Xuan Thien Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Vietnam’s Thai Group, wants to open a water route and build as many as six hydropower plants on the river through a US$1.1 billion project.
According to a detailed proposition obtained by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, the developer plans to connect the would-be water route on the Hong River with that of China allowing ships to travel along the river from China to Hanoi and other provinces and ports in northern Vietnam.
The 556-km Red River, earning the name from its heavily silt-laden, reddish-brown water, flows through eight northern Vietnamese localities including Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Thai Binh and Nam Dinh.
The river and its numerous tributaries spread out to form the Red River Delta, which flows past the Vietnamese capital before emptying into the Gulf of Tonkin. The delta encompasses a major agricultural area in Vietnam heavily devoted to rice production and is also known for its violent floods and seasonal fluctuations in volume.
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