VEA warns of power project contractor capacity
By Van Nam - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – The Vietnam Energy Association (VEA) calls for compliance with bidding regulations and attention to capacity and experience of contractors during the execution of power projects under the national power development plan in 2011-2020.
In its petition sent to relevant agencies last weekend, VEA said the new power projects in the coming time should use boilers, turbines, generators and control systems imported from G7 nations or developed countries. Meanwhile, less sophisticated components and devices should be supplied by domestic firms.
Over the past time, many projects did not adhere to the bidding mechanism set by the State, stressed VEA. Consequently, a number of chosen contractors, including those offering loans, lack competence, experience, standard equipment and qualified experts, resulting in multiple slow-moving projects with poor quality.
VEA chairman Tran Viet Ngai proposed foreign contractors should only send experts over to direct and supervise the project execution in the coming time, while Vietnamese engineers and workers will take charge of construction and equipment installation.
VEA deemed it necessary to avoid repeating the situation in which Chinese contractors do all the things, even providing security and cleaning staff, whereas thousands of competent Vietnamese engineers and workers have nothing to do.
Under the national power development plan in 2011-2020, also known as Power Plan 7, the total power generation capacity of the country will reach 75,000 MW by 2020 from some 26,000 at present. Particularly, hydropower will supply 19,125 MW, coal-fired power 36,000 MW, gas-fired power 12,375 MW, renewable energy 4,200 MW, nuclear power 975 MW and imported power 2,325 MW.
According to VEA, some power projects should have started commercial operation in 2011, but they are now still busy with troubleshooting, such as Song Tranh 2 hydropower plant and Uong Bi 2 Extension thermal power plant. Meanwhile, Vung Ang 1 and An Khanh 1 power plants are scheduled for completion in 2012 but not until next year can they start service.
The power projects in the list of development in 2011-2020 under Power Plan 7 are located throughout the country, from the north to the central and the south. Some of them are still awaiting investors, while others are moving at slow pace due to many factors including financial distress and difficulty in site clearance.
For example, 36 coal-fired thermal power projects were approved to be developed under Power Plan 7 in the period from 2011 to 2020, with a combined capacity of 31,940 MW. So far, only one project has been put into operation (Cam Pha 2), one project is undergoing acceptance tests (Uong Bi 2 Extension), one project is selecting a BOT investor (Nghi Son 2), and the other 33 are still in the preparation stage or have yet to identify investors.
VEA remarked most of the coal-fired thermal power projects have fallen far behind the schedule set in Power Plan 7 due to many reasons.
“There are eight years left to achieve the target of 75,000 MW. This is unlikely to come true,” said Tran Viet Ngai in the petition.