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|Engineers operate turbines at the Han Thuan – Da Mi Hydroelectric Plant in Dong Nai Province in efforts to ensure water supplies during the upcoming dry season. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha|
A national power industry plan for up to 2025 envisages the construction of 52 power plants with a total capacity of more than 54,700 MW.
Chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Mechanical Industries, Nguyen Van Thu, told Viet Nam News that 35 of them would be built by domestic investors.
"Equipment will have to be bought for all the plants," he said.
Although Vietnamese companies could not produce the main equipment for power plants like turbines because of a lack of resources and technology, they could supply 28-30 per cent of other equipment, he said.
"This is a promising opportunity. Unfortunately, the chance has been lost."
Vietnamese investors, faced with a cash crunch, had turned to foreign suppliers and contractors for financial reasons, he explained.
"Foreign contractors offer Vietnamese investors credit and other financial support."
Phan Dang Phong, deputy director of the National Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering, concurred.
He told Viet Nam Economic Times that while the country was a big market for power equipment, only foreign firms were benefiting.
He said 90 per cent of the contractors and suppliers were from China and they brought equipment that could be manufactured in the country and their own personnel.
"The country is pouring money into building power plants but its companies and people do not benefit," he said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade should assess the capability of equipment manufacturers in the country to award them suitable projects, they said.
Power-plant investors who flout the law with regard to equipment purchase should be punished, they added.
Thu said power plants built with public money should be required to buy equipment from domestic companies, if available.