Son La, the largest hydropower plant in Southeast Asia, went on stream on December 23, three years ahead of schedule.
Ground was broken for the plant in Muong La town in the northern province of Son La in late 2005, and it was expected to be completed only in 2015.
It is on the Da River, the main tributary of the Red River.
The spillway is situated on the right bank and contains eight spillway gates and 12 low-level outlet gates to control the water level during flood season.
The powerhouse is located in the downstream dam toe in the river channel.
The plant, built at a cost of around VND 60.2 trillion (US$2.9 billion), has six turbine units with a total capacity of 2,400MW. It can generate some 10.2 billion kilowatts of electricity a year.
Speaking at the inauguration, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the plant plays a significant role in the development of the country's power sector.
He highlighted the fact that it was entirely designed and built by Vietnamese engineers and workers.
Hoang Quoc Vuong, the chairman of the state-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), which built the plant, said thanks to its early completion, the country would save some 1.5 million tons of coal in the three-year period.
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