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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs          9  July 2011

Indonesian coal powers project in Vietnam

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State-run PetroVietnam has awarded two contracts worth a combined US$1.2 billion to two subsidiaries to build a 1,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant, which will boost its thermal coal imports from Indonesia and Australia, the government said.

It has also licensed Malaysia's Jaks Resources to invest $2.25 billion to build a coal-fired power plant in northern Vietnam, a state newspaper reported on Friday.

The moves come as coal is expected to take over from hydropower as the leading fuel for new electricity generation in Vietnam in the next five years, a period when annual power consumption is set to rise by 15 percent. Supply had lagged demand by 3 percent in the past five years.

The contract signing for the first project in central Vietnam followed the country's first import of nearly 10,000 tons of Indonesian thermal coal this year, as it also continues to buy electricity from southern China to avoid outages.

It also came as Vietnam took the initial steps toward opening up its power sector by launching a pilot competitive generation market last week to encourage private power generators to boost supply.

Bob Kamandanu, a commissioner at Indonesia's Berau Coal, said high demand from Vietnam's growing economy was a potential boon for Indonesia.

"They are seeking more coal, and Indonesia is one of their destinations," he said.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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