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Vietnam to import more electricity from China

May 8, 2006 (Xinhua)

Vietnam plans to buy additional 200 MW of electricity from China to supply its northern Thai Nguyen province between 2007 and 2010, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Monday.

The power is expected to be transferred from China's Yunnan province to Thai Nguyen via a 220-kv transmission line, the paper quoted sources from the state-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) as saying.

Vietnam is to import over 1 billion kwh this year and 1.3 billion kwh next year from China via both 110-kv and 220-kv lines,under contracts already signed by the two sides, said the sources from the state-owned corporation.

Under the contracts inked by the EVN and Chinese power companies in China's Yunnan province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the two sides will start transferring electricity via 220-kv transmission lines in early October at a price of 4.5 U.S. cents per kwh. At present, the transmission is conducted via 110-kv transmission lines.

Vietnam will import some 600 million kwh from China via the 110-kv transmission lines at a price of 4.3 U.S. cents per kwh this year, the sources said, noting that it is accelerating construction of six 220-kv transmission lines and transformer stations for the purchase of electricity from China to serve northern Vietnamese provinces, including Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Thoand Vinh Phuc.

According to the Vietnamese Industry Ministry, the country's electricity demand is forecast to annually grow 15-16 percent until 2010. Vietnam, which now has total electricity production capacity of 11 GW, mostly generated by coal-fired and hydroelectric plants, plans to begin purchasing power from Laos in 2008.

Under an energy use master plan recently issued by the Vietnamese government, the country will generate a total of 41 GW of electricity by 2020. Vietnam, last month, started to build its largest gas-fueled power plant in the southern most province of Ca Mau, which is expected to supply 18 percent of Vietnam's total power output when operational in March 2008.

In addition, the 1.2-billion U.S. dollar Ca Mau Gas-Power-Fertilizer Complex, designed to burn natural gas, is projected to have a capacity of up to 1,500 MW, providing 10 billion kWh of electricity each year. The project will help Vietnam meet its power generation target in 2010, when total annual power output is scheduled to double to 110 billion kWh.

Vietnam plans to complete its first nuclear power plant by 2020 as alternative means of meeting its growing power demand.