Two Vietnam power plants shut after gas pipeline leak

HANOI (REUTERS) - Two power plants in southern Vietnam were shut down at the weekend due to a leaking valve on a gas pipeline, state-run Voice of Vietnam radio said on Monday.

The problem on the pipeline, owned by state oil and gas group Petrovietnam, took place on Saturday. The power plants in Ca Mau province have a combined power capacity of 1,500 megawatts and supply about a tenth of the country's electricity.

Following the shutdown, state utility Vietnam Electricity group had to source electricity from the fuel oil-fired O Mon power plant in Can Tho city to ensure stable power supply to southern Vietnam, it said in a statement released on Sunday.

The Ca Mau Gas Company, a subsidiary of Petrovietnam Gas Corp supplying gas to the plants, expected to fix the valve problem and resume gas supplies later this week, the state utility said.

The US$300 million (S$380 million ) PM3-Ca Mau pipeline, built by Russia-Vietnam oil venture Vietsovpetro, has been in operation since 2008, supplying gas to the two power plants from the PM3 oil and gas field in the waters between Vietnam and Malaysia.

The two power plants produce 10 percent of Vietnam's total electricity.

The pipeline, operated by PV Gas, also feeds the Ca Mau urea plant, which produces 40 percent of Vietnam's urea fertiliser.

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