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December 29, 2008

Vietnam to grant licence to US utility firm
The Vietnamese government said on Monday it aimed to grant an investment licence to US utility firm AES Corp early next year to build a coal-fired power plant in northern Vietnam at an estimated cost of $1.4 billion, reported Reuters.

AES would form a joint venture with state-owned coal producer Vinacomin to operate the 1,200-megawatt plant, which will be located in Mong Duong in the coal hub province of Quang Ninh, a government directive said.

The directive quoted Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai as saying the government aimed to grant an investment licence to the joint venture within the first quarter of next year.

AES Corp would invest up to 90 percent of the estimated cost while state-run coal mine operator Vinacomin would contribute the remaining 10 percent, state media have reported.

While dominant utility Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) is the developer of the majority of Vietnam's power plants, Hanoi encourages both foreign and private local firms to invest to expand power generation capacity.

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