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China to sell electricity to five Vietnam provinces


SHANGHAI, Nov 8 (AFP): China Southern Power Grid Co said today it has signed a deal to sell electricity to five provinces in northern Vietnam, with expected annual sales of 50 million dollars.
China Southern Power will supply Vietnam National Power Corp with 1.1 to 1.3 million megawatts of electricity annually for at least 10 years, a statement from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).
No further details were provided but the announcement comes only a week after Chinese President's Hu Jintao first official visit to its communist-run neighbour.
The two countries, historical enemies which fought a brief war in 1979 and only normalised ties in 1991, have gradually been putting territorial disputes behind them while pursuing friendly relations and stronger economic ties.
In Vietnam, electricity demand has risen an average 13-15 per cent annually in recent years, creating an urgent need for more infrastructure.
According to government estimates, about 70 billion to 80 billion kilowatts of power will be needed in 2010, with the figure increasing to between 160 billion and 200 billion kilowatts by 2020.
Last month Shanghai Electric Corporation received approval from the Vietnamese government to build a 500 million dollar thermal power plant in the northern province of Quang Ninh.