Viet Nam experienced a shortfall of energy last year, and the government expects that demand for power would increase by at least 16 per cent in 2011. The NPT is investing up to US$5 billion until 2015 to expand and improve its power transmission capabilities to help the country meet the electricity needs of its rapidly growing economy.
Under the agreement, GE will be certified as an approved supplier of equipment to the NPT, beginning with GE's Multilin protection relays. GE will also establish training workshops to share its global experiences and expertise in the repair and selection of equipment for NPT's transmission activities.
To meet the rising power consumption needs across the industrial sector and the public domain, the government was looking not only at increasing its power generation supplies, but at increasing supply efficiency by upgrading its transmission systems, said Nguyen Manh Hung, President of the NPT.
GE had provided some equipment to the NPT previously, such as 500 kV capacitors and relays, but this is the first direct collaboration agreement between the two companies that would help Viet Nam increase its competency and capability in power transmission and infrastructure, said Ramesh Singaram, Regional General Manager of GE Energy Services Asia Pacific.
Established in July 2008 as part of Viet Nam's energy market reform strategy, the NPT was created to manage investment, construction, operation and maintenance of the country's transmission network, which includes 220 kV and 500 kV lines and associated substations.
The Asian Development Bank showed that NPT needed to invest approximately $750 million annually in new transmission assets from 2011 to 2016 to meet the energy demand, which is estimated to grow at 15 per cent per year.