Southeast Asia's largest hydroelectric power station has begun operating to help ease an electricity shortage in fast-growing Vietnam, news agencies reported.
The first of six turbines at the Son La hydropower station has been connected to the national power grid, said the director of the plant's management board.
The US$2 billion, 2,400-MW plant is expected to be fully-operational by 2012, three years ahead of the target set by the National Assembly, local media reported. Construction began in December 2005.
The hydro project's reservoir stretches across the three provinces of Son La, Lai Chau and Dien Bien in northwestern Vietnam.
In other news, Laos has officially inaugurated the 1,070-MW Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric power project, the largest hydro project in Laos.
The $1.45 billion project is co-owned by Electricite de France, the Lao government, the Electricity Generating Public Co. of Thailand and Italian-Thai Development.
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