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Vietnam turns to LNG power plants, seeking to shake coal dependence

Rising prices loom over Southeast Asia's growing appetite for natural gas

With Vietnam building LNG power plants, much of the fuel is expected to come from the U.S. (Photo by Ryosuke Hanafusa)

HANOI -- Liquefied natural gas is entering the spotlight in Vietnam as the country tries to wean itself off carbon-intensive coal, keeping pace with a growing regional trend that could be tripped up by intensifying competition for the fuel.

Samsung C&T and Vietnamese construction company Lilama announced in March a $940 million engineering, procurement and construction contract for what is expected to be the country's first LNG-fueled power plant. The 1,500-megawatt facility will be operated by PetroVietnam Power, a unit of state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, and is slated to come online in 2024 or 2025.

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