Vietnam firm begins building Laos’ 250-MW Sekamang 3

Song Da Corp., Vietnam’s largest power plant builder, has begun construction of the 250-MW Sekamang 3 hydropower project in southern Laos.

The government-owned Song Da said April 6 the US$273 million plant will begin operating in 2009, exporting 1 billion kilowatt-hours per year to Vietnam.

Sekamang 3 is located in Sekong Province next to Vietnam’s central Quang Nam Province. It will be handed over to Laos after 25 years of operation.

Song Da Corp. has a 60 percent stake in the project and will finance the investment with its own funds. The Hanoi-based Vietnam Laos Electricity Development and Investment Co. consortium brought together six state-run power and construction firms including Song Da and utility Electricity of Vietnam to develop Sekamang 3, called Vietnam’s largest foreign investment.

Vietnam Laos Electricity Development and Investment, a subsidiary of Song Da., said it plans other power plant projects in Laos including the 460-MW Sekamang 1 in Sekong Province. Surging power demand with consumption growth averaging 17 percent per year has prompted the Hanoi government to spend about US$5 billion a year to develop 74 power plants between now and 2020.

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