Overview of Vietnam’s Energy Sector – Current Status and Plans of Future Development, Pham Khanh Toan, Nautilus Institute, Asian Energy Security Workshop 2007

Government sources


Russia gets Vietnam’s first nuclear power deal: sources, Agence France-Press, MSN News Malaysia, 2010-02-09

Vietnam has decided to award Russia’s state atomic energy firm a contract to build the country’s first nuclear power plant, sources said on Tuesday. “There is a decision in principle… We have to see if it comes to fruition,” an industry source told AFP. “It appears that the Russians pushed for it in the context of a broader strategic agreement.” The contract will go to Rosatom, which state-owned Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has recommended conduct a feasibility study of the nuclear project’s first phase, Japanese newspaper The Nikkei said in a Tuesday report, citing multiple sources. A Japanese public-private partnership had been hoping to secure the order, it said. A source at Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade confirmed The Nikkei report for AFP but a Russian embassy official said there was no official comment.

The first phase would involve 2,000 Megawatts, the sources said. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is expected to approve the proposal soon, The Nikkei added During a visit to Moscow in December, EVN and Rosatom signed a memorandum of cooperation. At the time, Dung said without elaborating that Vietnam had officially invited Russia “to cooperate in the building of the first atomic energy plant in Vietnam”.

Japan eyes Vietnam’s nuclear market, Kazumasa Taekanak and Eiki Yano, Asahi Shimbun, 2010-01-18

Japan, France and Russia are competing for lucrative contracts to develop nuclear plants in Vietnam, which is seeking to become the first Southeast Asian nation to use atomic power generation. Businesses and governments from the three countries are extending support, seeking contracts for a feasibility study and eventually for plant construction. A senior Vietnamese official said the country would pick a partner by considering cooperation in funding and personnel development as well as technological achievements to ensure safety. Vietnam’s zeal was demonstrated as President Nguyen Minh Triet spoke at an investment seminar in the southern province of Ninh Thuan in October. The government plans to build four 1 gigawatt reactors in the province. Two are scheduled to start operation in 2020-2021 and the others in 2021-2022. In an unusual step, the president addressed the business meeting, stressing the safety of nuclear power generation. The nuclear project, worth well over 1 trillion yen ($11 billion), was approved by the national assembly in November. An order for a feasibility study will be placed to a foreign business shortly.

Japan and other countries are aggressively pursuing the deal, believing it will boost the chances of compatriot manufacturers gaining plant construction orders. The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum Inc. (JAIF), a group of Japanese plant makers and utilities, in 2000 signed a cooperation accord with Vietnam’s Atomic Energy Commission. Japan accepted more than 400 trainees, researchers and others from Vietnam by 2007, while helping developing related laws. Plant makers such as Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. are also joining hands in the race.

Mitsutoshi Odera, a senior official of JAIF’s international affairs department, says getting a contract for Vietnam’s nuclear power plants is a “touchstone” for Japan’s plant exports. To back up business efforts, the industry ministry in May 2008 signed a memorandum of nuclear power development cooperation with the Vietnamese government. France, Vietnam’s former colonial power, is also aggressive. In December, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy firm agreed on cooperation for nuclear power generation with Vietnam Electricity.

See also

ASEAN nuclear power debates

Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Additional research:
Arabella Imhoff
Updated: 12 February 2010