The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $28 million first-stage loan for Viet Nam’s Mong Duong thermal power project.

The plant will eventually add 2200 megawatts of generating capacity to the country’s power system. The demand for electricity is growing by 16% each year.

“There is not a single example of a modern nation significantly reducing poverty without dramatically increasing its use of energy,” said the Director of ADB’s Southeast Asia department Infrastructure Division, John Cooney.

“The only way we can fundamentally address the needs of the 8 million people in Viet Nam who still live on less than $1 a day is to make sure we put all the indispensible building blocks of development in place.”

Power shortages are a serious threat to the country’s sustained economic growth and are becoming very bad during the dry season due to low water levels in hydro power plants. 40% of the generated power comes from hydro power plants.

“Viet Nam needs to diversify its energy resources to ensure a reliable, long-term source of power to fuel the nation’s development,” added Mr. Cooney. “Given its availability, and the fact that it is the most affordable source of energy in Northern Viet Nam, where the project is located, coal is a necessary part of that mix.”

In order for ADB to support the Mong Duong thermal power project, an environmental study was conducted. The project will introduce circulatory fluidized bed boiler technology, which will significantly reduce emissions.

“While projects like Mong Duong are essential for Viet Nam’s continued growth, we recognize that greater use of clean energy, renewable energy and increased energy efficiency are critical to Asia’s longer-term development,” said Mr. Cooney.

Viet Nam is one of six countries for clean energy investment assistance under ADB’s $1 billion a year energy initiative.




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