22 July 2002 – Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) is to carry out a feasibility study for the construction of a third hydropower plant in Tay Nguyen in the Central Highlands.

The Se San Four plant, designed to generate about 1.3bn kWh per year, will be the second largest on the Se San River after the 720 MW Yaly plant. Construction on the 273 MW Se San Three plant, which lies about 20km from the Yaly plant in Gia Lai’s Chu Pah District and the neighbouring province of Kon Tum’s Sa Thay District, began last month.

The proposed 330 MW Se San four will be located about 50km downstream from the Se San Three and will use recycled water from the latter. EVN officials say construction of the plant would start in 2004 and take about six years to complete at an estimated cost of $280 million. Most of the funding will come from domestic investment sources.

Three other hydropower plants are planned on the 237km section of the Se San River, which runs through Vietnam’s boundaries, and the construction of all of them will begin this decade, the officials say.

These plants will bolster the national power supply network and feed the trans-Viet 500kV transmission line. Prime Ministerial approval is awaited for feasibility studies on the 110 MW Pleikrong plant. The two other plants in the pipeline are the 100 MW Se San 3A and the 220 MW Thuong (Upper) Kon Tum.

EVN says once these plants are operative, they will have a combined capacity of 1800 MW, which is almost equivalent to the country’s biggest Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant on the Da River. They will be able to generate about 8.7bn kWh per year, making up one-third of the country’s power output in 2000. The total investment for these plants is estimated at $1.7bn.

EVN says the construction of a series of small power plants on the Se San River will bring greater economic benefits than just one or two larger plants. They will also contribute to the socio-economic development of Tay Nguyen region as a whole, with their reservoirs ensuring irrigation for a large area.

EVN also says the adverse impacts of these plants will be minimal, as most are small-scale and located far from residential areas.