Thermal power plant project hits administrative roadblock

May 11, 2023 - 14:24
If such complications cannot be resolved, "the entire project may not be able to go ahead", according to the ministry. 


A part of the Ô Môn III thermal power project in southern Cần Thơ Province. EVN Photo

HÀ NỘI The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has reported to the central government several complications in the implementation of the Ô Môn III thermal power plant in southern Cần Thơ Province, one of the country's largest thermal power projects with a capacity of 1,050MW.

If such complications cannot be resolved, "the entire project may not be able to go ahead", according to the ministry. 

The thermal power project has a total investment of VNĐ25.2 trillion, of which VNĐ17.6 trillion is to come from Official Development Assistance from Japan.

It has run into a roadblock with the Ministry of Finance and the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises having different views on financing the reciprocal capital, estimated at over VNĐ7.5 trillion. 

The committee has proposed a risk-free credit approach for the loan, while the ministry has taken the opposite side, claiming the project must be held financially responsible. 

According to reports by the committee and Electricity Vietnam (EVN), no commercial bank in the country has the credit to authorise a loan large enough to cover Japan's ODA. While two commercial banks can provide such a loan, it is not in line with the Japanese government's disbursement protocols. 

"As this roadblock has not been resolved, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has not been able to bring the final project proposal to the central government for approval," the MoIT said. 

According to the MoIT, to reduce the country's carbon footprint and to reach its carbon-neutrality goal in 2050, Việt Nam must rely heavily on building additional thermal power plants as a transitory phase in the energy shift.

The thermal power project will also use the country's gas output.  

The ministry proposed the central government prioritise the thermal power project and allow for a risk-free credit scheme based on the country's 2017 Law on Public Debt Management.

MoIT also called for the MPI to speed up the valuation process.

The Ô Môn III thermal power project is among nine energy projects started by EVN that have been given priority in administrative procedures to ensure Việt Nam's energy supply in the coming decades. 

It includes several natural gas projects with a total output of more than 5 billion cubic metres annually, which will be fed into the thermal power plants with a total capacity, once completed, of 3,810MW. VNS