(EnergyAsia, July 17 2012, Tuesday) — US conglomerate GE said it has secured a US$16.5 million contract to supply equipment to the Power Transmission Company No. 4 (PTC4), a subsidiary of Vietnam’s National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT), to double the country’s power capacity.

GE said it will supply six series capacitor banks and provide on-site supervision for installation testing and commissioning as part of the upgrade of the 500-kV Pleiku–Phu Lam transmission line to increase power capacity from 1,000 amps to 2,000 amps by late 2013.

In strengthening Vietnam’s national backbone transmission system, GE said the project will utilise its latest fuseless technology to double the capacity of the existing transmission line and installed infrastructure.

For the first time, GE will partner with a local corporation, 3C Company, to provide local content for the project, which will receive financing from the US Export-Import Bank.

Shipping and installation of the capacitors at the three locations will begin in the second quarter of 2013, with commercial operation set to begin in the third quarter of the year.

Dang Phan Tuong, chairman of NPT’s board, said:

“The 500-kV Pleiku-Phu Lam transmission line, which is 500 km in length, is the backbone of Vietnam’s North-to-South power transmission. Increasing the capacity of the line to transmit power across the country more efficiently will enable EVN to mobilise generation sources to more effectively meet power demand, which varies from region to region.

“When it comes into operation in 2013, the project is expected to supply approximately 800 megawatts to the Southern area.”

GE Energy Asia Pacific President Kenji Uenishi said: “We are delighted with this opportunity to assist Vietnam meet its power needs. A healthy power infrastructure is vital to supporting economic growth. GE’s advanced equipment, services and partnership with local corporations will enable Vietnam to manage power needs more efficiently in line with efforts to enhance current infrastructure.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton witnessed the signing of the contract in Hanoi last week.

GE signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2011 with NPT for both companies to work together in an effort to increase Vietnam’s power transmission efficiency and expertise, while reducing the risk of power shortages.