Vietnam's energy sector is set to become a new foreign investment magnet this year with at least US$4.5 billion to be committed for two new power plants, a government report said.
That was higher than the total foreign direct investment (FDI) pledges of over $2.8 billion recorded by gas and power projects last year.
One of the two anticipated projects is a thermal power plant invested by Japanese and South Korean energy companies Marubeni and KEPCO at a cost of more than $2.2 billion, the government's website said last week.
The investors are expected to apply for investment licenses for the 1,200-megawatt plant in the central province of Thanh Hoa within the first quarter, it said.
The other is also a 1,200-megawatt thermal power plant located in the northern province of Nam Dinh.
Its investors, Arab Saudi's ACWA Power and South Korea's Taekwang Power Holdings signed an investment agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Trade last week and are expected to receive a license this year, according to the website.
Both the projects will be developed under a built-operate-transfer agreement with Vietnam's government.
The government has planned 86 power plants for the 2011-2020 period and 18 thermal projects have been assigned to foreign investors, it said.
So far, six of the 18 planned projects have been licensed, it said.
Another six projects are still pending for licenses, although their investors, including Japan's Sumitomo, South Korea's Samsung C&T, Malaysia's Toyo-Ink and India's Tata Power, have signed investment agreements with the government.