National Electricity of Vietnam says that construction of the country’s second 500 kV electricity transmission line will commence at the end of November. The line is an important element of a network expansion planned over the next ten years in order to meet the forecast increase in demand.
Construction of the 544 km line, stretching from Pleiku town of the central highlands Gia Lai province through Dac Lac, Lam Dong, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An provinces to Phu Lam of Ho Chi Minh City, is expected to cost VND 2048bn ($136.5m) to which the World Bank has pledged $97.1m.
Expected to be completed before September 30 of 2003, the line will transmit electricity from the 720 MW Yaly hydroelectric power plant and from Ham Thuan-Da Mi, Song Hinh and Dai Ninh hydroelectric power plants to the south.
It will help ease the heavy burden of the overloaded 500-kV North-South transmission line, the first in the country. Beginning operation seven years ago, the 1487 km trans-Vietnam 500 kV transmission line has transmitted a total of 16bn kWh from the Hoa Binh hydro-electric power plant in northern Hoa Binh province to the southern region, helping ease power shortages during the dry season.
Vietnam’s electricity demand is expected to increase to 46-49bn kWh in 2005, 78-82bn kWh in 2010, and 200bn kWh in 2020, compared to 40bn kWh this year, to make 1600-1900 kWh per capita consumption in 2020, according to National Electricity of Vietnam.
The power sector, with plans to expand the electricity network to all parts of the country by 2010, has designed a 10-year master plan. There are plans to build four or five 500kV lines, lengthen transmission lines to 133 000 km from 113 000 km, and raise the total capacity of transformer stations to 84 000 MVA from 29 000 MVA.
This year, the power sector plans to give 100 per cent of districts, 80 per cent of communes, and 60 per cent of households nationwide access to the national power grid.