Cam Pha power station

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Cam Pha power station is an operating power station of at least 680-megawatts (MW) in Cua Ong, Cam Pha, Quang Ninh, Vietnam with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Cam Pha power station Cua Ong, Cam Pha, Quang Ninh, Vietnam 21.006288, 107.358044 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Phase I, Phase II, Phase III Unit 1, Phase III Unit 2: 21.006288, 107.358044

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Phase I operating coal - anthracite, bioenergy - agricultural waste (solids) 340 circulating fluidized bed 2011
Phase II operating coal - anthracite, bioenergy - agricultural waste (solids) 340 circulating fluidized bed 2011
Phase III Unit 1 cancelled coal - waste coal 220 subcritical 2020
Phase III Unit 2 cancelled coal - waste coal 220 subcritical 2020

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Phase I Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corp Ltd (Vinacomin) [100.0%]
Phase II Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corp Ltd (Vinacomin) [100.0%]
Phase III Unit 1 Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corp Ltd (Vinacomin) [100.0%]
Phase III Unit 2 Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corp Ltd (Vinacomin) [100.0%]


Initially conceptualized as a 260 MW plant,[1] the first phase was upgraded to comprise to a 600MW generating plant comprising two 300MW boilers. The project is owned by the Cẩm Phả Thermal-power Joint-Stock Company, with Vinacomin having a 51% interest.[2] Construction began in 2006, and was completed in Sept. 2011.[3]

The project is designed to use coal dust and slurry coal as fuel, with a news report stating that the first phase would consume approximately 1 million tons of coal per year from Cửa Ông Coal Company. The total cost of the first phase was estimated at US$349 million. The Haerbin Power Project Co. Ltd. from China was awarded a $265 million construction contract for part of the project. Electricity of Vietnam, a government owned electricity utility, has signed a contract to buy the Cẩm Phả plant's output for 25 years.[2]

In November 2016, a major fire caused serious damage to the plant. No injuries were reported.[4][5]

The Cam Pha power station has consistently struggled to generate profits. Between its commissioning in 2011 and July 2019, the power station accumulated over VND 1 trillion of losses.[6] And in the first quarter of 2021, the power station reported net losses of VND 71 billion.[7]

In July 2022, Unit 2 was taken offline for repairs. The unit began operating again in July 2023.[8]

In December 2023, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment granted a license for "environmental protection activities" to Cam Pha power station. The license was valid through November 2030.[9]

In April 2024, bidding was underway for boiler repairs at both units of Cam Pha power station.[10]

Description of Expansion

In November 2015, it was reported that the company plans to add a third unit of 400 MW.[11] According to the 2016 Revised Power Development Plan VII, the expansion will be 2 x 220 MW.[12]

The November 2016 fire at the existing units may push plans for Phase III back, since Vinacomin must now repair those existing units.

In June 2019, the location for the expansion was listed as to-be-determined in the Ministry Of Industry And Trade's report on the implementation of the revised seventh Power Development Plan (PDP7).[13]

According to GreenID, a gas plant has been proposed instead of Cam Pha Phase III.[14] With no progress in more than four years the Cam Pha Phase III coal plant appeared to be cancelled.

In November 2020, it was reported that Cam Pha-3 and other coal plants whose construction had not yet begun would be cancelled under Vietnam's upcoming Power Development Plan VIII.[15][16]

In May 2023, Vietnam officially approved the updated power development plan (PDP8). Under this plan, the country will domestically generate 20% of its electricity needs with coal by 2030 and fully phase out coal-fired power stations by 2050. The plan involved increasing energy generation using coal to a peak of 30 GW and replacing all other outstanding coal projects with LNG or renewables. PDP8 listed Cam Pha III among the projects that would not move forward.[17]


Local residents are reportedly not pleased with the prospect of a third phase at Cam Pha, due to the fact that "Mong Duong Ward is always covered in dust and smoke generated by the power plants" and that "Thousands of households in Cam Thinh Ward have lived in bad conditions for many years." According to Nguyen Trong Minh, chair of Cam Pha City People’s Council, the slag dumping ground in Cam Pha is full, causing Vinacomin to begin dumping in Van Don island district. “We breathe the seriously polluted air every day and we are surrounded by mining sites, thermal power plants and cement plants from all sides,” he said.[11] A June 2019 article in Baomoi cited complaints of nearby residents about the constant noise and dust from the plant, and the fact that ash from the plant is contaminating nearby beaches.[18]


In 2007, China ExIm Bank provided loans of US$296 million to finance the plant. The proceeds of the loan were to be used by the borrower to finance 85% of a $348.9 million EPC contract signed on March 21, 2006.[19] Another source suggests the loan amount was US$225 million. [20] In 2009, Vietnam Maritime Stock Bank has lent additional US$23 million to the Cam Pha Thermal Power Joint Stock Company.[21]

Environmental Impact

The power stations ash and slag storage dump is designed with a 3.52 million ton capacity, but in July 2019, the amount of ash and slag waste had already reached 4.64 million tons. Because the ash is piled so high, just a few winds cause nearby schools, hospitals, and residential units in the surrounding area to become covered with dust. Some residents have reflected that their life here is only covered in dust. “When the sun rises, it is dusty, when it rains, it is dirty, the house has just been cleaned and closed with a thick layer. The roof, the garden is an earthy brown color, small and smooth as powder," said one local resident. The company has announced various stopgap solutions, which residents have deemed inadequate, but has not provided a long term fix for the problem.[22]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Coal-Fired Plants Financed by International Public Investment Institutions Since 1994", Appendix to Foreclosing the Future: Coal, Climate and International Public Finance: Investment in coal-fired power plants hinders the fight against global warming, Environmental Defense, April 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Construction of Cam Pha Thermal-power Plant starts", April 17, 2006.
  3. Cam Pha Thermo Power Plant No 1&2 Officially Handed Over, Business Times, Sept. 17, 2011.
  4. Cháy lớn tại nhà máy nhiệt điện Cẩm Phả, Nguoi Lao Dong, 22 Nov. 2016.
  5. Nhà máy điện 500 triệu đô vẫn tê liệt sau sự cố, Bao Dat Viet, 11 Dec. 2016.
  6. Nhiệt điện Cẩm Phả (NCP): Lãi quý thứ 2 liên tiếp, vẫn còn lỗ lũy kế trên nghìn tỷ đồng, Cafef, July 23, 2019
  7. Nguyên Nga, Nhiều doanh nghiệp lãi lớn, giá điện vẫn khó giảm, Báo Thanh Niên, May 19, 2021
  8. Nhà máy Nhiệt điện Cẩm Phả hoạt động ổn định trở lại, Lao Động, October 9, 2023
  9. Công ty Nhiệt điện Cẩm Phả - TKV được cấp giấy phép môi trường, Bộ Công Thương, December 8, 2023
  10. 3 nhà thầu cạnh tranh gói thầu sửa chữa lò hơi Nhiệt điện Cẩm Phả, Đấu thầu, April 15, 2024
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Vinacomin plans to build another thermal power plant," VietnamNet, November 27, 2015
  12. DANH MỤC CÁC DỰ ÁN NGUỒN ĐIỆN VÀO VẬN HÀNH GIAI ĐOẠN 2016 - 2030, Ban hành kèm theo Quyết định số 428/QĐ-TTg ngày 18 tháng 3 năm 2016 của Thủ tướng Chính phủ (LIST OF POWER PROJECT IN OPERATION PERIOD 2016 - 2030, Issued together with Decision No. 428 / QD - TTg of March 18, 2016 by the Prime Minister)
  13. Implementation of Power Projects in the Revised Power Development Plan 7, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Republic of Vietnam, Jun. 4, 2019
  14. Communication with GreenID, June 2020
  15. Nhiều dự án nguồn điện trong quy hoạch ‘chưa rõ tiến độ’ vào vận hành, Nang Luong Vietnam, Nov. 25, 2020
  16. Quy hoạch vùng ĐBSCL: Thay thế tất cả nhà máy điện than chưa xây dựng bằng nhà máy LNG và năng lượng tái tạo, Cafe F, Nov. 26, 2020
  17. Approving the national electricity development plan for the period of 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, Prime Minister of Vietnam, May 16, 2023
  18. Người dân Quảng Ninh 'than trời' vì bụi, tiếng ồn từ Nhà máy nhiệt điện Cẩm Phả, Baomoi, Jun. 25, 2019
  19. "China Eximbank provides $296.6 million preferential buyer's credit for Phase I of the 600MW Cam Pha Coal-Fired Power Plant Construction Project".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. "Chinese financial aid projects".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "Vietnam coal-fired plant wins further lending". August 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. Cam Pha Thermal Power Plant: Million tons of waste and people's cry for help,, July 10, 2019

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.