The nation's first indigenously designed and equipped thermal power plant will be built in the central province of Nghe An by the Vietnam National Coal – Mineral Industries Holding (Vinacomin) Group.

Vinacomin and provincial authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on building the Quynh Lap 1 Thermal Power Plant on July 11.

Vinacomin Chairman Le Minh Chuan said at the signing ceremony that the project was not only a significant step forward for the group, but also a major development project for the central coastal province.

It would be the first coal-burning power plant to be designed in Vietnam, as also have its turbines manufactured and assembled in the country, Chuan said.

In preparation for this venture, the Government had in 2011 developed and funded a project titled "Research on the design and manufacture of equipment for coal-burning thermal power plants."

The research involved the establishment of a consortium comprising the Republic of Korea’s group of Doosan and two Vietnamese partners – Naritime (National Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering) and Lilama Corporation, in which the Korean group acted as a co-ordinator, transferring technologies to the two Vietnamese partners.

Vinacomin will be the owner of and investor in the Quynh Lap 1 Plant, and the consortium will supply made-in-Vietnam equipment enabled by Korean technology transfer.

The 2-turbine, 1,200MW plant costing 1.8 billion USD will cover an area of the 283ha thermal power centre under the name of Quynh Lap.

The MoU between Vinacomin and Nghe An People's Committee says that the former will present to the latter a detailed plan for the plant's construction before this August 18.

A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for October 10. Work on the project is scheduled for completion in 2020, and the plant expected to start operations the same year.

Secretary of the Nghe An Party Committee, Ho Duc Phuoc, pledged at the signing ceremony that the province would spare no effort in working with Vinacomin on site clearance (evacuation and resettlement of affected residents), so that the project can begin and complete work as scheduled.

The Quynh Lap Thermal Power Centre is part of a larger industrial zone - Dong Hoi, in Nghe An province's Quynh Mai town.

It is situated on a cape extending into a body of deep water where a port will also be built. As designed, the port will allow for 50,000DWT ships to dock and feed the thermal power plants with coal.

Though work on the first thermal power plant in the industrial park is yet to commence, provincial authorities are already calling for investment in Quynh Lap 2, the second one.

Last month, a firm from the Republic of Korea with investments in Vietnam held talks with the Nghe An People's Committee about the Quynh Lap 2 project, but they were inconclusive.-VNA