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Vietnam, Coc San Hydro Power

Delivering 29.7MW of clean, run-of-river hydro power to the people of Lao Cai Province, Vietnam

Context

Demand for electricity in Vietnam is increasing rapidly, however reliance upon fossil fuel imports constrains the country’s social and economic development. In Lao Cai province, northern Vietnam, a lack of affordable power is preventing expansion of key industries. The Government of Vietnam are committed to reducing fuel imports and developing the country’s renewable energy potential. Exploiting Lao Cai’s fast-flowing rivers will be crucial to achieving an ambitious provincial power development plan to increase installed capacity to 1000MW by 2020.

Project

PIDG company InfraCo Asia was approached to develop the 29.7MW Coc San run-of-river hydro scheme when it ran into difficulties in 2011. InfraCo Asia invested US$7.5m in the project. As the majority stakeholder, InfraCo Asia worked with the project’s Vietnamese and international backers to ensure that it met stringent World Bank environmental standards and was structured to attract further private sector capital. Coc San began delivering clean power to the people of Lao Cai province in 2016.

Impact

‘We will benefit due to increased electricity reliability, which will support Industrial Zone developments and attract investment.’ Doan Van Huong, Former Chairman of The Lao Cai Provincial Peoples Committee

Coc San now delivers clean, affordable power for 130,000 people. Coc San will reduce fuel import costs and cut Vietnam’s carbon emissions by 76,000 tonnes per annum. The project has delivered 250 temporary construction jobs and 35 long-term posts to Lao Cai province; stimulating growth and indirect employment in key industries such as mining and fertiliser production. Coc San’s design limited the loss of land, and no displacement of settlements was necessary. To mitigate the impact of the project on local communities, Coc San is delivering a successful Livelihood Restoration Programme and Community Development Programme, building road access and renovating 3 schools alongside a small-scale irrigation scheme and agronomy training to increase crop yields in the area.