The Ialy hydropower plant extension project will be installed with two Francis turbine units with a total installed capacity of 360MW. Credit: Dejan Dosenovic/
The Ialy plant extension is being developed and managed by Power Project Management Board 2 (PMB2), a subsidiary of Vietnam Electricity (EVN). Credit: ANDRIDZ.
The project will help increase the capability to mobilise the capacity for loads in the southern region of Vietnam. Credit: hxdbzxy/

The 360MW Ialy hydropower plant extension project is being built as an extension to the existing hydropower plant in Sa Thay district, Kon Tum, and Chu Pah district, Gia Lai, in Vietnam.

The project will create additional capacity to increase the existing hydropower plant’s power generation capacity from 720MW to 1,080MW to meet the country’s demand for electricity.

It is being developed and managed by Power Project Management Board 2 (PMB2) on behalf of Vietnam Electricity (EVN).

The project is being funded by EVN, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (AGRIBANK). Construction of the project commenced in June 2021 and is expected to be completed in December 2024.

Power generation is expected to commence from unit one in the second quarter of 2024 and from unit two in the third quarter of the same year.

Location of Ialy hydropower plant extension project

The Ialy hydropower plant extension is being constructed in Ya Tăng commune, Sa Thay district, Kon Tum and Ia Mo Nong, Ia Kreng communes, Ialy town, Chu Pah district, Gia Lai. It will be 400m away from the existing Ialy plant.

Project details of the Ialy hydropower plant

The Ialy hydropower plant extension project will include two units, each with an installed capacity of 180MW. It will have an average power generation output of 233.2 gigawatt-hours (GWh).

The project will include 63 contractor packages, of which 42 have been awarded as of March 2023.

A new waterway and powerhouse are being built on the left side of the current structure. The main components will include an inlet leading to the intake, a headrace tunnel, penstock, powerhouse, surge tank, tailrace and power plant connection to the national grid.

Construction details

Construction works in 2023 include the installation of a gantry crane, completing excavation, a 2,150m-long reinforced concrete placement for the headrace tunnel, and finishing reinforced concrete work for the lower chamber and vertical shaft of the surge tank.

Works will also include the completion of a penstock erection and installation of a repair gate, operation gate and bridge crane at the machine hall.

Funding for Ialy hydropower plant extension

The Ialy plant extension project will involve an investment of VND6.4trn ($268m).

EVN signed a credit facility agreement with AFD for a €74.7m ($89m) loan to support the project in June 2021.

EVN also signed a credit financing agreement with AGRIBANK to secure a loan worth VND2.4trn ($101.6m) for the project in February 2023.

Contractors involved

ANDRITZ, an Austria-based international technology company, was selected to provide two 180MW Francis turbine units, two 211MVA synchronous generators, and control and protection systems. The contractual scope also includes auxiliary equipment and associated technical services.

Power Engineering Consulting provided the technical design and cost estimates for the project.

The contract for package 37 was awarded to a joint venture of construction companies Truong Son Construction, Lung Lo Construction, Vietnam Import-Export and Construction, Song Da Construction and LILAMA 10 in April 2021. The scope of package 37 includes the construction and installation of equipment such as the intake gate and access canal, pressure tower, water tunnel, pressure pipe, drain canal and water retaining wall, among others.

PC1 Group received the contract for package 39 of the project in February 2023. Package 39, which is one of the main packages, includes the renovation and expansion of the 500kV distribution station, supply of materials and equipment, as well as construction of 500kV transmission lines and distribution stations.

Project benefits of the Ialy hydropower plant

The project will contribute to Vietnam’s transition to low-carbon, sustainable energy generation. It is estimated to avoid 68,000tpa of greenhouse gas emissions.

The project is expected to improve peak load supply and the stability of the electricity system.

It will also reduce the burden on the existing units of the plant, thereby increasing the lifespan of the equipment and reducing maintenance costs. The plant will take advantage of the water overflows from the reservoir to increase the annual average power production.