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Vietnam utility to offer shares in power plants


Dominant state-run Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) said Monday it will offer shares in four power plants to the public next month to raise money for expanding power generation capacity to meet soaring demand.
EVN would sell less then 30 percent of the shares of the four plants, which are valued at a combined VND8.7 trillion (US$545 million), a spokeswoman said.
The state would retain at least 60 percent of the plants, including the coal-fired Uong Bi Plant in the northern province of Quang Ninh and the hydro power plant Thac Mo in the southern province of Binh Phuoc.
“The government’s policy is to gradually divest its investment in the power generation sector and we are speeding up the equitization process now,” the EVN spokeswoman said.
Investors have shown increasing interest in power plants as most equitized plants pay dividends of around 12 percent per year, officials said.
“Ideally EVN would like to reduce its ownership to 51 percent, but that would be done gradually as we want to see how investors react to the sale,” the spokeswoman said.
Last November, EVN raised around $40 million from the sale of another key thermal power plant, the 440-megawatt Pha Lai in northern province of Hai Duong.
EVN officials have said the firm planned to build 74 power plants by 2020 to meet demand growing at an average of 17 percent per year.
However, they said EVN could meet only half of the estimated $109 billion needed.
The government has said it would equitize most of the country’s power plants while retaining its monopoly of power transmission and regulation of the national power network.

Source: Reuters