The World Bank (WB) has approved a 500-million-USD loan to help increase the capacity, efficiency and reliability of the electricity grid in Vietnam’s key economic areas.

The project aims to build 1,000 kilometers of transmission lines and 220kV and 500kV substations in the greater Hanoi area, the greater Ho Chi Minh City area, the Mekong Delta and the central region.

It will finance about 15 percent of Vietnam’s transmission network growth, targeting key investment needs in the areas where transmission overloads are already present or will happen in the very short time.

Additionally, the project will support Smart Grid technologies to monitor, control and protect equipment, improving reliability and reducing electricity outages.

Meanwhile, the National Power Transmission Company will be provided with assistance in raising its operational and financial independence.

The total capital requirement of the project is estimated at 731.25 million USD, of which 500 million USD will be funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – a WB lending arm for middle-income countries. The remaining will be financed by the Vietnamese Government.-VNA