April 26, 2018 / 10:27 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Vietnam building more power plants as economic growth accelerates

* PV Power allowed to develop two power plants in Dong Nai province at total cost of nearly $1.5 billion

* PV Power plants to start generating in 2020-2021

* Sembcorp Industries unit in deal to build 750-MW power plant in Quang Ngai province (Adds information about Sembcorp project in Quang Ngai province)

HANOI, April 26 (Reuters) - PetroVietnam Power Corp , or PV Power, has been granted government approval to build two gas-fired power plants in southern Vietnam at a total cost of nearly $1.5 billion, its parent company said on Thursday.

The Southeast Asian country is developing a wave of new power plants to support economic growth that is among the strongest in Asia. Vietnam’s gross domestic product grew 6.81 percent last year, faster than an expansion of 6.21 percent a year earlier.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given the go-ahead for the two facilities in the province of Dong Nai, state oil firm PetroVietnam, which holds a 51 percent stake in PV Power, said in a statement.

The Nhon Trach 3 and Nhon Trach 4 plants will have a combined capacity of 1,500 megawatts and will cost 33.3 trillion dong ($1.46 billion) to build, PetroVietnam said. They are scheduled to start generating in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

In a separate deal, Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sembcorp Utilities, on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam to build another power plant in the country.

The 750-megawatt gas-fired power plant will be built in the central province of Quang Ngai, the company said in a statement, without providing the cost and time frame for building the facility.

PV Power, the second largest power producer in Vietnam after the state-run Vietnam Electricity group, said earlier this year that it was looking to sell 676.39 million shares, or a 28.9 percent stake, to strategic investors. The company’s shares were trading at 14,100 dong apiece on Thursday, potentially putting the value of the deal at $419 million.

The government raised $308 million selling a 20-percent stake in PV Power at an initial public offering in January. ($1 = 22,765 dong) (Reporting by Khanh Vu Editing by Joseph Radford and Christian Schmollinger)

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