The World Bank (WB) will provide 449 million USD to Vietnam’s project to provide electricity users across the country with better quality and reliable electricity services, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency improvements.

Apart from WB’s contribution to the 800 million USD distribution efficiency project, 30 million USD comes from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) that will support the implementation of smart grid technologies. The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) provides 8 million USD in grants for technical assistance and capacity building while the remaining will come from the Vietnamese Government.

Senior energy specialist and task team leader for the project Van Tien Hung said t he efficiency and modernization investments under the project will improve the reliability of energy supply to industries and households and contribute to Vietnam ’s socio-economic development.

Reliable electricity supply will further reduce the need of households to use alternative polluting fuels, such as coal and kerosene, to meet their domestic energy needs and should have positive gender and poverty impacts, he added.

The project will contribute to meeting the objectives of the national energy development strategy to 2020 by reducing investment needs in the power sector, strengthening energy security and contribute to climate change mitigation.

It covers the construction and reinforcement of electricity distribution networks, the introduction of smart grid technologies in distribution and a technical assistance and capacity building facility for the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) and five power companies to develop efficient electricity tariffs and design effective energy demand programmes.

Over the past decade, the WB has closely collaborated with the Vietnamese Government to expand the power network and to provide electricity to all parts of the country. At present, the focus of WB assistance has shifted from providing new electricity connections to improving the quality of services to consumers.-VNA