Banks lend $1.46 bln to thermal power plant in Vietnam

HANOI, July 11 Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:59pm EDT

HANOI, July 11 (Reuters) - Twelve foreign banks will join hands to lend more than $1.46 billion to Mong Duong 2 coal-fired power plant in northern Vietnam, the plant's operator said on Monday.

The first disbursement is expected next month for the $1.95 billion 1,240-megawatt plant in the coal hub province of Quang Ninh, AES-VCM Mong Duong Power Co said in a statement, adding the build-operate-transfer (BOT) plant is Vietnam's largest private sector power plant.

Korea Eximbank, the biggest single provider of direct debt, and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation would provide commercial guarantees and political risk cover, said the Hanoi-based firm, 51 percent owned by an affiliate of U.S. AES Corp .

POSCO Power , an affiliate of South Korea's POSCO , owns 30 percent of stake in the project and China Investment Corporation has the remaining 19 percent after state coal miner Vinacomin had left the project, the statement said.

French lender CIC Bank and DZ Bank are lead arrangers of the loan joined by another 10 banks, the statement said without giving any terms of the financial package nor detailed fundings by each of the lenders.

Malaysia's Jaks Resources Berhad has secured an investment licence to build a $2.25 billion coal-fired power plant in northern Vietnam, also using the BOT scheme, a state-run newspaper reported last Friday.

Vietnam is cutting coal export this year to save the fuel for power plants and has imported the first cargo of Indonesian thermal coal as it grapples with rising demand for power and has to continue to buy electricity from southern China among measures to avoid outages.

Vietnam's electricity consumption would nearly double to 175 gigawatt-hours in 2015 from 98 gigawatt-hours this year, while supply will increase to 196 gigawatt-hours from the current 110.8 gigawatt-hours. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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