|Representatives of Vietcombank and the National Power Transmission Corporation signed a credit contract in Ha Noi yesterday.—VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietcombank and the National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT) signed a contract worth VND3.2 trillion (US$152.3 million) yesterday to finance a 500kV power line linking two northern provinces, Lai Chau and Son La.
The VND4 trillion ($188 million) project, to be built over 158.5 kilometres, crosses the districts of Muong La, Thuan Chua, Tuan Giao, Muong Cha and Muong Lay.
The new line will connect the Son La Hydro-power plant with the national power grid, while linking small hydro-power plants in the north-western region to the national power network.
The project would ensure a power supply from the plants to stations in the north and enable the national power system to operate without interruption.
This key national project is scheduled to become operational by 2015 and begin transmitting electricity from the Son La Hydro-power plant.
The construction of the $3.2 billion plant was begun on December 2, 2005 and is expected to be completed by 2015.
The 1,200MW project would supply 4.67 billion kWh of electricity annually to the national power grid.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nguyen Manh Hung, NPT's general director, said the country needed some $1 billion each year to invest in power transmission lines, since line construction has been slower than electricity production.
Vietcombank has provided credit for 17 important power projects in the fields of power generation, transmission and distribution, with total capital of VND23 trillion ($1.09 billion).
Vietcombank and EVN also signed a bilateral co-operation agreement in 2010 to develop comprehensive relationships in several areas.
Vietcombank has been one of the country's largest commercial banks, with a network of more than 400 branches. Officials anticipate opening an additional 15 branches nationwide within the next year. — VNS