Vietnam plans to increase electricity generation to power its industrial growth, which has been expanding by 6% to 7% annually in recent years. Hydroelectricity is expected to make a large contribution. Electricité de Vietnam (EVN) has announced plans to add 37 new electric power plants by 2020 to the existing 18 power plants. Twenty-two of the planned power projects are hydroelectric plants; the rest are to be fuelled by oil, natural gas and coal. EVN has announced its intention to fund approximately one-third of the investment needed to construct the new projects, with the rest to come from private and foreign investment.
In 2002, the 720 MW Yaly Falls, Vietnam’s second largest hydroelectric project after Hoa Binh, became fully operational and supplied about 10% of Vietnam’s total electricity. The 475 MW HamThuan/Da Mi hydroelectric project in the southern part of the country has now been completed. In 2002, construction began on the 300 MW Dai Ninh in the central province of Lam Dong and the 300 MW SeSan in the central province of Gia Lai. In 2003, construction began on the 324 MW Na Hang hydroelectric project, which was to begin generating electricity in 2006. In October 2002, the Vietnamese government gave final approval for construction of the 2,400 MW Son La hydroelectric project, which will become the country’s largest hydroelectric facility. Construction on the USD 1.7 billion project was scheduled to start in 2004 and to be completed in 2012.
The government is promoting micro hydro to improve living standards in mountainous areas. At present, the priorities are to import low cost micro hydro equipment, train technical personnel and transfer technology to Vietnam. Investment would come from international loans and with joint venture agreements for equipment manufacture.