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Russia has agreed to build Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant in a ceremony in Hanoi presided over by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, according to GulfNews.com.

Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Russian state nuclear holding company Rosatom Corp, and Vietnam’s Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang signed an accord last week for building two reactors by 2020.

Vietnam is developing new sources of energy to end blackouts and meet demand from its 86 million people.

The government forecasts economic growth will quicken to as much as 8% annually through 2020. Residents of urban areas including Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s largest, and the capital Hanoi, are subject to periodic daylong power cuts.

Vietnam’s government has picked four sites at which it will build at least four reactors each, Kiriyenko said.

The nuclear plant deal, which was among more than a dozen signed between Russia and Vietnam in Hanoi yesterday, envisages the construction of two reactors with capacity of 1,000 megawatts to 1,200 megawatts each, he said.

Once completed, the plant would supply “a significant part of Vietnam’s power market,” Medvedev said.

Rushydro, Russia’s biggest renewable energy company, also signed a preliminary agreement with Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, known as PetroVietnam, to build a hydro-power plant in Vietnam during the same ceremony.

RusHydro plans to buy a controlling stake in Dakdrinh Hydropower Co, which is building the 125-megawatt plant and is currently 75% owned by PetroVietnam.

The two countries will cooperate on energy and work together on oil and gas projects in Russia, Vietnam and third countries, Medvedev and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Minh Triet said at a briefing.

The transactions capped Medvedev’s two-day trip to the Southeast Asian nation, with a delegation that includes Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller and TNK-BP Executive Director German Khan. The focus of the visit was trade, economic relations, investment and cooperation in banking, Sergei Prikhodko, Medvedev’s foreign policy aide, said before the group’s departure. – Source: GulfNews.com

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