State-run Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) may replace Vietnam’s oil and gas group PetroVietnam to develop the long-delayed thermal power plant Quang Trach 1 in the central province of Quang Binh, according to newswire

The Quang Binh People’s Committee proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Planning and Investment to license EVN to take over the project.

“The ministries agreed with the proposal and the province now plans to submit a document for the prime minister’s approval,” said Hoang Dang Quang, Secretary of the Quang Binh Party Committee.

The project’s construction was kicked off in July 2011, with the total investment capital of $1.7 billion. 

The plant has a designed capacity of 1,200 megawatts to be produced by two turbines, which were expected to come into operation in June and December 2015, and contribute to the national grid an annual capacity of 8.5 billion kWh.

However, over five years after the ground-breaking ceremony, the construction has been immobile save for a finished office building.

Regarding EVN, the group basically agreed to the province’s proposal.

According to EVN chairman Duong Quang Thanh, the project is an important part of the national power master plan, thus the group will carefully consider before making an investment.

If the PM authorises EVN to implement the project, the group will carry out the procedures as well as recalculate the investment plan by the end of this year. EVN plans to build a 500kV transmission line to connect Vung Ang and Quang Trach to southern Vietnam. The group expects that the plant will start operation in 2021.  

Quang Trach 1 is one of two projects in Quang Trach Power Centre, next to Quang Trach 2 invested by Russian Inter RAO Group.

In February 2015, the Russian energy company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Quang Binh’s authorities to build a $2.4 billion coal-fired power plant in the power centre. 

According to the MoU, the Quang Trach 2 plant will be built on 150 hectares in Quang Trach district under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) investment model. The plant will have a combined capacity of 2,400MW and is scheduled to become operational by 2024. 

The Russian investor has carried out the pre-feasibility study so far.