Construction began Saturday at a 600-megawatt thermal power plant project in the central province of Thanh Hoa.
The plant is expected to ease the project shortage that Vietnam is experiencing as it records rapid economic growth.
The Nghi Son 1 Plant, invested by state-owned power utility Electricity of Vietnam, has a designed output of 3.6 billion kilowatt-hours per year. The coal-fired plant is expected to consume 1.6 million tons of coal a year, the government has reported.
The US$1.16 billion Nghi Son 1 plant will have two production units. The first one is scheduled to begin commercial operations at the end of 2013 and the second by mid-2014, according to the report.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung highlighted the significance of the plant for the construction of other key projects in the Nghi Son Economic Zone, including the Nghi Son Cement Plant and Nghi Son Refinery.
He also asked the investor and relevant agencies to complete site clearance procedures to start the Nghi Son 2 Power Plant, also in Thanh Hoa Province. This plant will have an annual designed capacity of 1,200 megawatts.