The “Gold Woman” of Vietnam’s Electricity Sector

For the first time, the huge 220KV-transformer, 140 tonnes in weight with nearly one thousand separate parts, was produced by a female Vietnamese engineer.

It was nearly noon o­n a scotching summer day and sweat was burning our eyes.  Regardless, engineer Nguyen Thi Nguyet attentively listened to the sounds created by the 220KV-transformer placed at the Soc Son 220KV-transformer station and checked each detail of the machine. She stopped working o­nly when the sun was at its highest. Her eyes were sparkling with joy and pride in her child - the first 220KV-transformer in Vietnam which she and her associates had researched, designed and manufactured.

Graduating from the Hanoi Polytechnic University in 1975, Nguyen Thi Nguyet, a native of Nghe An Province, was assigned to work at the design bureau of the Dong Anh electric equipment-repairing factory in Hanoi (now Dong Anh Electric Equipment Manufacturing Share-Holding Company under the Electricity of Vietnam).

Named as a “gold woman” of Vietnam’s electricity sector, Nguyet has been known as a leading inventor in the field of transformers. In 2002, for the first time in the electricity sector’s history, engineer Nguyen Thi Nguyet researched and produced an 110KV- transformer, laying a foundation for the technology of manufacturing high capacity transformers in Vietnam. In the previous years, this sector was able to produce o­nly small transformers of 35KV. All transformers of 110KV and above were foreign produced and imported.

In 2003, Nguyet was assigned to carry out a State-level scientific project of researching, designing and manufacturing a 220KV-transformer, the preferred size in the national electric grid. She confided: “When I was assigned with the task, I shivered with worry because there seemed to be nobody in the country with the knowledge to construct this type of machine. We did not even know its internal composition. Also, the 220KV-transformer is more complicated and sophisticated and much heavier than the 110KV- transformer I have produced. Moreover, I had neither document nor experience. Generally speaking, I had “bare hands”. Under these circumstances, to avoid risks, many people thought that the project should not be undertaken. However, after 14 years of researching and enduring untold difficulties and sometimes having the idea of discontinuing the work, Nguyet produced a transformer with a capacity of 220KV, the first of this type in Vietnam and Southeast Asia as well, to the joy of her associates. The machine met requirements o­n technical and aesthetic criteria and international standards. It may be said that in the context of being in a difficult situation and the electricity sector’s limited ability at that time, Nguyet’s success not o­nly saved hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong for the State budget but also affirmed the ability and knowledge of Vietnamese engineers in the new period.

Manufacturing the 220KV-transformers requires very specialized technique that is o­nly successful in countries that have advanced machinery. Apart from the human factor, there should be laboratories and specialized state-of-the-art technical equipment. All processes, from designing the cover to the technique of winding the wire, installing and adjusting the parameters, must be precise, as anything less could result in the unit exploding and causing extremely dangerous consequences.

The successful manufacturing of the 220KV-transformer, receiving i

 Engineer Nguyen Thi Nguyet’s achievements


- Certificate of Creative Labour in 1986 and 2004

- First VIFOTEC (Vietnam Fund for Supporting Technological Creations) Prize in 2004
- Prize awarded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to a female inventor with the best achievements in 2004.

- A typical person who was praised in the programme “Glorious Vietnam 2004”.

- Certificate of merit awarded by the Prime Minister in 2005.

- Labour Hero of the Renovation Period in 2006.
nternational recognition, has marked a rapid development of the Vietnamese electricity sector. It is significant not o­nly in terms of technology but also in enhancing the sector’s status and ability in integrating with other countries in the world.

Success follows success. In 2005, engineer Nguyen Thi Nguyet was successful in repairing three 500KV-transformers at the Yaly Hydro Electric Plant, which had been normally undertaken by foreign experts.

Saying goodbye to her, we realized that residing in this small and simple woman are her burning dreams and ambition. Hopefully, in the near future Nguyet will realize her dream of manufacturing the 500KV-transformers.