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Ministry to keep coal-fired thermal power projects

To avoid legal risks, thermal power projects in the 8th national power development plan need to be retained, especially BOT (build, operate, transfer) projects, which involve foreign investors, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) said.

The ministry previously proposed not adding coal-fired these projects (totaling 14,120MW) into the 8th national power development plan (Power Plan 8). The projects include Quang Trach II, Tan Phuoc I and Tan Phuoc II of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) (3,600MW); PetroVietnam’s 1,980MW Long Phu III; Cam Pha III, Hai Phong III and Quynh Lap I of Vinacomin (2,840MW); and BOT projects of Quynh Lap II, Vung Ang III, Long Phu II totaling 4,500MW; and 1,200MW Quang Ninh III project, which has not been licenced to any investor.

In its latest report on the draft Power Plan 8, MOIT noted that for the thermal power projects developed by state-owned corporations of EVN, Vinacomin (Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group) and PetroVietnam, there would be no legal risk stopping the projects. Project development costs would be handled under current regulations.

For BOT projects, the investors of Vung Ang III and Long Phu II were given approval to stop the projects. As for the Quynh Lap II project, the Prime Minister assigned Posco Energy to only study and develop the project, with a capacity of 2x600 MW, and has not officially appointed it as the investor.

The agreement on Quynh Lap II project signed between MOIT and Posco Energy using coal as major fuel expired last November and has not been extended. Posco Energy has confirmed in writing that it wants to develop Quynh Lap II using LNG (liquefied natural gas), not coal, and wants to raise the capacity.

Under Plan 8, there is only one LNG project in Quynh Lap in 2026-2030. The investor will be selected under current rules.

MOIT reported that by September 2022, Vietnam had 39 coal-fired power plants totaling 24,674MW, and 12 projects (13,792MW) that have been assigned to investors. They include seven projects (6,992MW) under construction and will be put into operation, 

five projects under preparation, with difficulties in capital arrangement, and one that the investor could not arrange capital. 

Of the five projects facing difficulties in raising capital, four are foreign-invested BOT. However, no investor has voluntarily stopped projects. To avoid legal risks, MOIT suggested that these projects still be listed in Power Plan 8.

Luong Bang

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