Construction of the 1.4 billion USD Vung Ang 1 thermal power plant in the central province of Ha Tinh is in its final stage and will be completed by the end of this year, contractors said.

Head of project management Pham Van Dinh said about 98 percent of equipment for the plant has been completed while 66 percent of construction and installation is done.

He said contractors have installed the 7,500 tonnes boiler number 1, one of the most important tasks of the project and also completed building the boiler house.

With investment from the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), the project is part of the National Power Development Plan for 2006-15. It will be the first coal-fuelled power plant to be built in the northern central region.

Nguyen Duy Loi, deputy head of LILAMA’s project management board, the project’s main contractor, said as many as 100,000 tonnes of equipment have been installed and of which 46,000 tonnes were produced locally.

“We have increased the number of workers in the construction field from 2,500 to 3,500 to accelerate the speed of construction.”

Once fully operational by the first quarter of 2013, the 1,200 MW plant will supply nearly 7.2 billion kWh a year to the national grid.

The government last year approved the plan on national power development for 2011-20, which is also called master plan 7.

According to the plan, Vietnam strives to have a power generation capacity of 75,000 MW by 2020 and 146,800 MW by 2030.

Hydropower plants would generate 23.1 percent of the total capacity, pumped storage hydro-electric plants 2.4 percent, thermopower coal-run plants 48 percent and gas-run thermopower plants 16.5 percent.

The country also plans to draw 5.6 percent of the total capacity from renewable energy, 1.3 percent from nuke plants and 3.1 percent from import. The total investment capital of the power industry would be 48.8 billion USD by 2020.-VNA