China agrees to help build Vietnam’s 21.4-MW Seo Chong Ho

A subsidiary of state utility Electricity of Vietnam signed a contract November 14 with China’s Yunnan Power Grid Co. to build the 21.4-MW Seo Chong Ho hydropower plant in Vietnam’s border province of Lao Cai.

On the eve of a state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, Electricity Co. No. 1 and Yunnan Power entered the joint venture, Vietnam-China Electricity Investment Ltd., to build the hydro plant at a cost of US$28 million. Upon completion in late 2007, Seo Chong Ho is to generate 98.5 million kWh annually.

State-owned Vietnam News Agency (VNA) quoted Electricity Co. No. 1 Director Nguyen Phuc Vinh saying the venture marked a new step in the two companies’ cooperation to develop small and medium-sized hydroelectric projects in Vietnam.

Electricity Co. No. 1 also signed an agreement to extend its power purchase contracts with Yunnan Power for 2007-2010 to supply Vietnam’s northern provinces, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Yen Bai, and Tuyen Quang, VNA said.

Vietnam has been buying electricity from southern China to offset a shortfall at home to meet rising demand in an economy that is expected to grow 8.2 percent this year and is forecast to accelerate to between 8.2 percent and 8.5 percent in 2007.

Chinese President Hu met Vietnam’s leaders November 16, ahead of an Asia-Pacific summit in Hanoi. Hu, Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh, and State President Nguyen Minh Triet launched an Internet site to promote trade and witnessed the signing of a deal on a US$418.18 million power plant to be funded largely by the Chinese Export-Import bank, VNA said.

Viet province to build five hydros

Vietnam’s central Quang Nam Province announced November 14 it plans to invest 2 trillion dong (US$125 million) through 2010 to build five hydroelectric projects, VNA said.

Investments in its electricity development strategy include the 210-MW A Vuong, 70-MW Song Con, Song Tranh 1, 120-MW Song Tranh 2, and Za Hung hydroelectric projects. The province also plans to build 673 transformer stations and install more than 1,000 kilometers of low and middle voltage lines and 21,000 electricity meters.

Top lawmaker urges faster completion of 2,400-MW Son La

Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong of Vietnam’s National Assembly is calling for speedier completion of the 2,400-MW Son La hydroelectric project, Vietnam’s largest.

During an inspection of the plant site November 13, Nguyen called for completion of Son La in 2012, three years ahead of schedule, VNA reported.

Affiliates of Vietnam Construction and Import-Export Corp. (Vinaconex) began construction of the US$2.3 billion project in December 2006 in Son La Province, 300 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. (HNN 11/9/06)

VNA said crews have dug 5.1 million cubic meters of earth of the 7.7 million to be excavated. They also have installed more than 1.4 trillion tons of drainage equipment, built 55,000 square meters of housing, and employed 80,000 cubic meters of stone and sand.

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