Vietnam cancels nuclear power plan over costs

The Vietnamese government has opted not to go ahead with the development of two new nuclear power plants in partnership with Russia and Japan, citing a doubling in costs for its decision.

In a statement, the government said the price for the proposed plants – approved in 2009 – had doubled to nearly $18bn, prohibitive to going ahead, as the government already has debt issues.
Vietnam Electricity group
Decreasing local power demand also contributed to the decision.

According to Reuters, when the government first approved plans for the two plants, growth in Vietnam’s annual power demand was projected at 17-20 percent. However, Duong Quang Thanh, chairman of state utility Vietnam Electricity group, was quoted by state-run Voice of Vietnam radio recently as saying that annual growth between 2016 and 2020 was now forecast at 11 per cent, and 7-8 per cent through 2030.

The two plants proposed for Vietnam’s central Ninh Thuan province would have had a combined capacity of 4,000MW and were to be developed with assistance from Russian state company Rosatom and the Japanese consortium JINED.

Duong Quang Thanh, the CEO of state-run Electricity of Vietnam Group – which was to cover the remaining costs of the plants – said, even with significant subsidies the plants were “not economically viable because of other cheaper sources of power.”

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