UPDATE – Alstom Hydro to equip Vietnam’s 2,400-MW Son La

Alstom Hydro, a joint venture of France’s Bouygues and Alstom has won a 190 million euro (US$270.5 million) contract to equip Vietnam’s 2,400-MW Son La hydroelectric project.

The French prime minister’s office said October 1 that the deal between Electricity of Vietnam and Alstom Hydro was signed during an official visit to Paris by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Alstom Hydro is to design, engineer, manufacture, and deliver six 400-MW Francis turbine-generators and balance of plant. The contract also includes training, supervision of installation, testing, and commissioning. The first unit is to go on line in 2010 and the last in 2012.

Son La is to be built on the Da River in Son La Province, 340 kilometers northwest of Hanoi. It is to generate 10 billion kWh per year, meeting a significant part of Vietnam’s energy needs.

Vietnam’s four largest banks agreed in September to lend 17.5 trillion dong (US$1.08 billion) over 15 years to finance Son La. (HNN 9/26/07) State media reported that Vietcombank is to provide credit of 6 trillion dong (US$370 million), while Vietincombank lends 5 trillion dong (US$310 million) and Vietindebank lends 3 trillion dong (US$190 million).

The Lao Dong newspaper said Vietnam’s top lender, Agribank, would provide 3.5 trillion dong (US$220 million) and would manage the disbursement to the US$2.3 billion project. It said the loan includes a five-year grace period.

In 2006, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) said it planned to issue 500 billion dong (US$31.3 million) in bonds to raise funds for new power plants including Son La, which began construction in December 2006.

EVN plans to bring Son La on line significantly earlier than previous estimates. In November 2006, Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong of Vietnam’s National Assembly called for speedier completion of Son La, Vietnam’s largest hydroelectric project, by 2012, three years ahead of schedule. (HNN 11/16/06)

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