The $1.8 billion expanded Duyen Hai 3 thermal power plant is scheduled to be operational from 2018 onwards to help solve the electricity shortage in the southern region, particularly during the dry seasons when hydropower plants have slack production.
The 660-megawatt Duyen Hai 3 thermal power plant is one of four power projects within the Duyen Hai Power Centre, which has a combined generation capacity of 4,348 MW, and uses coal as the feedstock to generate power.
The work will be done by the Japanese corporation under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract worth $891.6 million, of which 85 per cent comes from domestic and foreign commercial loans.
The expansion of this power plant should go some way towards alleviating the concerns of many foreign firms, who, at the most recent Vietnam Business Forum said that the a power supply that fell short of demand would be a serious impediment to business in the coming years.
“The government has done a good job in ensuring sufficient energy through 2014. However, our members are quite concerned about the uncertain outlook of power supply over the next 7 years,” said John Rockhold, a representative of Vietnam Business Forum (VBF)’s Power and Energy Sub-Working Group.
He explained that Vietnam’s plan to move from dependence on hydropower to coal had not been realised thus far, with new coal capacity failing to come online as expected and Vietnam becoming a net coal importer ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, electricity demand was expected to continue to grow at a high double-digit rate through 2020.
According to VBF, the capacity of hydropower here is almost fully tapped, and although natural gas and nuclear power have potential, the rate of development has been slow and the targets are not being met.
The demand for electric power is expected to rise more than 10 per cent each year as economic growth continues to boom in Vietnam.
Sumitomo has a wealth of experience in the energy sector, and in Vietnam it has previously developed the Pha Lai 2 coal-fired power station, and supplied equipment to the A Vuong and Buon Kuop hydroelectric power plants, as well as operating the Phu My 2-2 gas-fired combined-cycle power plant jointly with the French power company EDF and the Tokyo Electric Power Company in an ongoing IPP project.