PetroVietnam to build $1.2 bln thermal power plant

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Vietnam's state oil and gas group PetroVietnam said it would start building a $1.2-billion coal-fired power plant in early January in the country's southern region.

PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation has been picked to build the 1,200-megawatt Long Phu 1 plant with two generators in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

Long Phu 1, expected to start operation in 2014, would import coal from Indonesia and Australia and framework contracts over long-term supply of the fuel have been signed with foreign companies, it said but did not name any coal sellers.

PetroVietnam will use its funds to meet 30 percent of the plant's investment cost, while taking export credit assistance funds for the remaining 70 percent, the group said.

To cope with regular shortfalls of electricity in recent years, Vietnam has been speeding the construction of power plants, buying electricity from China and urging people to conserve power.

It plans to start construction of the country's first nuclear power plant in 2014 using Russian technology.

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