14 August 2002 – Vietnam’s state-controlled National Electricity of Vietnam company (EVN) says it is planning to build 22 hydro-power plants, eight oil- and gas-fuelled power plants, and seven coal-fuelled plants from 2003 through 2010 to meet the increasing demand for electricity.

The cost of this estimated at $19.1bn with about $14bn coming from EVN’s own resources and the remainder needing to be raised from other sources.

In addition, the EVN has developed a project to build two 500-kV electricity transmission lines linking Pleiku in the central highland province of Dac Lac to the central province of Da Nang, and linking Da Nang to Thuong Tin of the northern province of Ha Tay. These lines will join the 500-kV Pleiku-Phu Lam of Ho Chi Minh City transmission-line to form the country’s second trans-national line.

According to the EVN Deputy General Director Pham Le Thanh, this project will be commenced soon and is scheduled for completion in 2005 to regulate the country’s electricity distribution system.

Vietnam currently has 14 power plants with a combined capacity of 8000 MW. These include eight hydro-power plants, which account for 52 per cent of the national electricity output.

This year, the electricity sector plans to attain an output of 34.4 billion kWh, a 12.4 per cent increase over 2001. In the first seven months of this year, it produced 20 billion kWh, a year-on-year increase of 16.8 per cent.

Meanwhile Formosa Plastics Group of Taiwan is planning to invest NT$3bn ($89m) to build three power plants in Vietnam, the Economic Daily reports, citing company sources.

Its Vietnam investment plans follow President Chen Shui-bian’s calls for local enterprises to invest in Southeast Asian countries in a bid to reduce Taiwan’s reliance on mainland China, the report says.