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Vietnam looks at Song Bo

Vietnamese Planning and Investment Ministry officials have retained a US–Swedish consortium to review and improve upon plans for a 3600MW hydroelectric power project in northwest Vietnam.

The plant is to be built on the Song Bo river, a tributary of the Red river that flows through Hanoi, near the town of Son La in the Song Chau That hills. No time schedules or budgetary figures have been mentioned. The consortium, consisting of the US engineering firm Harza and accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers, along with Sweden’s Sweco International, will review the existing feasibility study and modify it so that it can be presented to potential lenders by the end of summer. However, whether foreign investment can be attracted to the project, due to its environmental impact, is questionable. Other large Vietnamese power projects have stalled because of disagreements over power purchase agreements, and the difficulty of exporting profits from the projects.