A corner of the Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) is seeking permission to restart work on the Thai Binh 2 Thermal Power Plant which was suspended following the arrest of related officials for wrongdoings.

PetroVietnam Chairman Tran Sy Thanh suggested at a meeting on July 23 that PetroVietnam should be allowed to again fund the Thai Binh 2 Thermal Power Plant in the Red River Delta province of Thai Binh with its equity capital.

Construction of the plant started in 2011, but was suspended after some top officials of PetroVietnam and its subsidiary PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC), the project's EPC contractor, were arrested for violations. 

Because of PVC officials’ wrongdoings, lenders have cut credit to the project, and the possibility of borrowing more is unlikely, Thanh told leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC) and the provincial Party Committee.

The 1,200 MW Thai Binh 2 was estimated to cost 42 trillion VND (1.8 billion USD), of which 76 percent has been spent. Some 84 percent of the work has been completed.

With a design capacity similar to that of Mong Duong 2, invested by the US firm AES, and the under-construction Hai Duong power plant invested by Malaysia's Jaks Resources Berhad, Thai Binh 2 is one of key power projects in northern Vietnam.

The project, part of Thai Binh thermal power complex, will contribute 7 billion kWh of electricity to the national grid when finished, according to the MoIT. If it fails to go on stream next year as scheduled, it will cost the country 35 trillion VND (1.5 billion USD) a year to generate electricity using oil instead of coal, the ministry said. 

"Without money, the project will close in the next few months,” said Thanh, added that the project does not have money to pay salaries and suppliers and many workers have quit.

The main components of the plant are finished, and equipment needs to be installed before a trial run could begin, he added.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said at the meeting that since Thai Binh 2 is a key project, ministries need to give their opinions about it so that the MoIT could transmit PetroVietnam’s request to the government.-VNA