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NA delegates suggest blocking PPP format for hydropower projects

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HCMC – Several delegates of the National Assembly have proposed banning the public-private-partnership (PPP) model for hydropower projects, the National Assembly Standing Committee said at a meeting this morning, May 28.

Speaking at a session on the draft law on PPP investment, Vu Hong Thanh, chairman of the Economic Committee of the National Assembly, presented two options for the National Assembly to consider.

Under the first option, the Government should attract private investment through the PPP model for the power sector, and especially for power plants and grids.

According to a Government report, 18 thermal power projects with total investment of VND857.2 trillion (US$36.8 billion) have been developed under the PPP model, and four of them have been put into operation.

For hydropower, the National Assembly Standing Committee noted that these projects pose risks to the environment, natural resources and people’s lives and proposed rolling out hydropower projects through the independent power producer model instead.

“The Government should allow the PPP format for all power projects, except hydropower,” Thanh remarked.

Under the second option, the Government should disallow the PPP format for all power projects.

The standing committee recommended that the National Assembly pick the first option.

Certain delegates also proposed banning the PPP format for power grid projects because it violates the Law on Electricity, which gives State authorities a monopoly in the power transmission sector.

However, Thanh noted that the Government controls the operation, management and use of PPP power grid projects. “Therefore, the development of power grid projects under the PPP format complies with Resolution 55-NQ/TW and does not violate the Law on Electricity’s regulation on the State’s monopoly in power transmission,” he remarked.

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