Government approves US$379 million investment in hydropower plant


Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung recently signed a decision on ratifying a plan to expand the country’s second largest hydropower plant in Hoa Binh province at a cost of nearly VND8.6 trillion (US$379 million).


Under Decision No. 389/QĐ-TTg, the expanded project of the Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant will include two turbines with total capacity of 480MW. Once completed, due in 2022 or 2023, the plant’s average power is expected to reach 479 million kWh per year, while its electricity mobilization during peak hours will increase to 264.4 million kWh per year.

Vietnam Electricity Corporation will pay for 30 percent of the project, while the remaining 70 percent will come from commercial loans.

According to the decision, the investment aims to raise the national power network’s peak power and maximize utilization of water discharged from the plant in the flood season for generating power.

It will also help improve frequency modulation capability and stabiles the frequency of the national electricity system and reduce the working intensity of available turbines of the plant, thus prolonging the life of equipment and saving maintenance and repair costs.

The Hoa Binh hydro power plant, located in the northern province of Hoa Binh, is the second largest hydropower plant in Vietnam, after the Son La hydro power plant, with an annual electricity output of over 10 billion kWh. The power station currently accounts for over a quarter of the country’s electricity output.

The Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant was recognized as one among seven projects of significant importance to national security last year according to a Government’s decision. In accordance with the decision, the protection of the plant is determined as an important task of the public security force and related ministries and sectors.

According to statistics by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the national total power output was 46.2 billion kWh in the first quarter of this year, up 10.4 percent year-on-year.

Demand for electricity in the second quarter is set to increase by 12.5 percent at the peak of the dry season compared to last year, which usually records the highest power consumption of the year.

While the backbone of Vietnam’s electricity remains hydropower, the Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN) said power supply will be ensured for the coming dry season.

To meet the high demand, the EVN will fully utilize coal and gas sources to run coal turbines (in thermoelectric power plants Vinh Tan 2, Vinh Tan 4, Duyen Hai 1 and Duyen Hai 3), in addition to the reliance on reservoirs to ensure sufficient water to operate hydropower facilities in the lowlands. If necessary, the group will operate thermoelectric turbines that run on oil to ensure supply.

In addition, the group’s affiliate, the National Power Transmission Company, was asked to ensure safe operation and continuous transmission of power grids, especially the 500kV north-south line.

In terms of construction, the group will accelerate completion of projects in the second quarter this year to ensure power supply, including granting a Provisional Acceptance Certificate for Thermo-power plants of Vinh Tan 4 and Thai Binh and finishing a 500kV Vinh Tan-Song May transmission line.

In the second quarter this year, the corporation will try to launch the 500kV west Hanoi – Thuong Tin transmission line, a 500kV/220kV Nho Quan-Phu Ly-Thuong Tin line and 500kV transmission stations in Chon Thanh Township in the southern province of Binh Phuoc and My Tho city of Tien Giang province.