Vietnam to stick with hydro and thermal power

Vietnam has decided not to go ahead with the construction of nuclear power plants, which would have added an additional capacity of 4000 MW.

The government is citing cheaper energy alternatives and slowing power demand. It looks likely that Vietnam will continue to look to gas and coal-fired power along with hydroelectric energy to power its society.

Power production is currently dominated by hydropower with a share of 41 per cent in electricity generation, followed by natural gas with 31 per cent and coal with 26 per cent.
Vietnamese flag
The state-controlled Tuoi Tre newspaper reported the National Assembly will give its approval for the decision later this month.

Approval for building two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 4,000MW was given by the assembly in 2009. The construction, which was initially scheduled to begin in 2014, was postponed to 2020.

State-run Electricity of Vietnam Group head Duong Quang Thanh said: “Currently, power demand growth is not high, while domestically generated and imported sources of energy are sufficient for social-economic development. In particular, prices of imported sources of energy are much cheaper now.

“Nuclear power, therefore, cannot compete economically with other sources of energy.”

National Assembly's Science, Technology and Environment Committee vice chairman Le Hong Tinh was quoted by the newspaper as saying that an increase in cost of construction of the plants to $18bn was another reason not to go ahead.

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