Vietnam to sell power plants to fund new projects, ease debt

Vietnam will have to battle severe power shortages from 2021 as demand outstrips construction of new plants. (Pixabay pic)

HANOI: Vietnam plans to sell some operational state-owned power plants to foreign investors to raise funds for urgently needed new projects and ease pressure on public debt, local media reported on Tuesday.

State-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and the government’s Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises are drafting the plans for the sales, according to a report in the Kinh Te Saigon newspaper.

Vietnam has been seeking foreign and domestic private investment to help develop new power plants and speed up privatisation of state-owned power companies.

The report did not provide further details on the plans, but said they were in line with EVN’s development strategy through to 2030.

The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment and EVN could not be reached.

The Southeast Asian country faces constraints in its state budget and high levels of public debt, which stood above 56% of its gross domestic product at end-2019.

Vietnam, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, will have to battle severe power shortages from 2021 as demand outstrips construction of new power plants.

It plans to more than double its power generation capacity over the next decade to 125-130 gigawatts.