HA NOI — US energy giant General Electric (GE) signed contracts with Vietnamese partners on Tuesday to supply electrical equipment to the local industry.
One of the contracts signed was worth US$16.5 million with the Power Transmission Company No 4, a subsidiary of the National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT), to double Viet Nam's existing power capacity by upgrading the national grid.
GE's six series capacitor banks will be installed as part of the upgrade of the 500kV Pleiku – Phu Lam transmission line to increase power capacity from 1,000 amps to 2,000 amps.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton witnessed the signing of the contract in Ha Noi.
"The 500kV Pleiku-Phu Lam transmission line, which is 500-km in length, is the backbone of Viet Nam's North-to-South power transmission. Increasing the capacity of the line to transmit power across the country more efficiently will enable Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) to mobilise generation sources to more effectively meet power demand, which varies from region to region," said Dang Phan Tuong, chairman of the NPT Board of Management.
"When it comes into operation in 2013, the project is expected to supply approximately 800MW to the southern region," Tuong said.
"We are delighted with this opportunity to assist Viet Nam meet its power needs. A healthy power infrastructure is vital to supporting economic growth," GE Energy Asia Pacific President Kenji Uenishi said.
The US Export-Import Bank is financing the project. Shipping and installation of the capacitors at the three locations will begin in the second quarter of 2013, with commercial operation set to begin in the third quarter of the year.
GE signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2011 with the NPT for both companies to work together in an effort to increase Viet Nam's power transmission efficiency and expertise, while reducing the risk of power shortages.
GE's capacitor technology is effective in Viet Nam, with the first GE banks installed in the 1990s. This is the second time GE has signed a contract directly with NPT. The first involved a similar capacitor banks installation in the 500-kV Da Nang – Ha Tinh transmission line. — VNS