Vietnam banks to lend US$1.08 billion to 2,400-MW Son La

Vietnam’s four largest banks have agreed to lend 17.5 trillion dong (US$1.08 billion) over 15 years to finance the 2,400-MW Son La hydroelectric project, being built in Son La Province, 300 kilometers northwest of Hanoi.

State media reported September 25 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 in December 2010, 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, then three years ahead of schedule. (HNN 11/16/06)

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