HANOI - The World Bank on Thursday signed a loan agreement with Vietnam Electricity Group to fund the Vietnam distribution efficiency project, which aims to provide electricity users with better quality and reliable electricity services, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The efficiency and modernization investments under this project will improve the reliability of energy supply to industries and households and contribute to Vietnam’s socio-economic development,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.
“Successful implementation of this project will help strengthen Vietnam’s competitiveness and environmental sustainability, which are also key pillars of the World Bank’s strategy for Vietnam in the 2012 – 2016 period,” she said.
The project, costing US$800 million with US$449 million supplied by the global lender, covers the construction and reinforcement of electricity distribution networks and introduction of smart grid technologies.
It also includes a technical assistance and capacity building facility for the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam and five provincial power companies to develop efficient electricity tariffs and design effective energy demand programs.
Apart from US$449 million supplied by the World Bank, the Clean Investment Fund will provide US$30 million to support the implementation of smart grid technologies, while the Australian Agency for International Development provides US$8 million in technical and capacity building grants. The remaining US$313 million will come from the Government of Vietnam in counterpart funds.
The World Bank has closely collaborated with the Government of Vietnam over the last decade to expand the power network and to provide electricity to all parts of the country. As a consequence, access to electricity has increased from 50% in 1996 to about 97% in 2011.
Minh Duc - The Saigon Times Daily
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