J-Power plugs into Phu Yen for electric plant

18:00 | 12/12/2006

Poverty-stricken Phu Yen has been chosen as the best site for the Japanese Electric Power Development, or J Power’s proposed 1,200-megawatt thermal power plant, the largest of its kind in Vietnam’s central part.

A Phu Yen investment official contacted by Vietnam Investment Review said Phu Yen outbid neighbouring Binh Dinh and Khanh Hoa provinces as a convenient location to build a deep-sea port and because of its lack of operational power plants.
“Phu Yen People’s Committee has already responded to J Power’s application for the coal-fuelled power plant by reserving a suitable land plot 50km north of Tuy Hoa city. Local government will also assist the investor in completing feasibility study on the project,” the official said.
According to J Power’s development plan, which was presented to local government, the construction of the plant at a cost of $1.2 billion is slated for 2009. J Power also plans to build a specialised port nearby for importing coal needed to fuel the new power plant.
“J Power will have to finalise the plant’s feasibility study and the application for setting up a wholly
foreign-invested company to build the plant within the next two years.
Additionally, the Japanese firm needs to negotiate with the state-run Electricity of Vietnam as it will sell all of the electricity output of the new plant to the latter,” said the official.
EVN has invested in two hydro-power plants in Phu Yen – the 70 megawatt plant on Hinh river, which started operating a few years ago and the 230MW plant on Ba Ha river, which is still under construction.
After more than 10 years operating in Vietnam, J Power has participated in a total of 13 power projects in Vietnam, including the large scale Ham Thuan Da Mi, Son La, Pha Lai phase 2 and Uong Bi extension projects.
Four years ago, J Power wanted to build a 30MW thermal power plant at the cost of $40 million in the central Thanh Hoa province to supply electricity for the 4.3-million tonne capacity Nghi Son cement plant. However, local government rejected the project for fear of establishing too many electricity plants in the province.
The Phu Yen official admitted that local government wanted J Power to implement the project with a view to raise foreign direct investment (FDI) in the province.
“In contrast to the nation’s booming FDI activities this year, Phu Yen received only two FDI projects worth of more than $11 million between January and November,” said the official.
The province’s largest FDI project is the Malaysia’s $70 million auto venture to produce 10,000 trucks and 5,000 buses annually.
Phu Yen also wants to see a $1.1 billion pulp factory with overseas funding a reality but the project hit a snag as a result of partnership reshuffle.

No. 791/December 11-17, 2006

Hoang Mai

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