Cam Pha power station

From Global Energy Monitor

The Cẩm Phả power station is a 680-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Vietnam.


The undated satellite photo below shows the plant, which is in Cửa Ông commune, Cẩm Phả district, Quảng Ninh province.

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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]

Description of Expansion and Opposition

In November 2015, it was reported that the company plans to add a third unit of 400 MW.[8] According to the 2016 Revised Power Development Plan VII, the expansion will be 2 x 220 MW.[9]

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).[10]

According to GreenID a gas plant has been proposed instead of Cam Pha Phase III.[11] 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.[12][13]


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.[8] 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.[14]

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.[15]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Vinacomin (Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group)
  • Parent company:
  • Location: Cửa Ông commune, Cẩm Phả district, Quảng Ninh province, Vietnam
  • Coordinates: Cam Pha power station: 21.008172, 107.358091 (exact); Cam Pha Phase III: 21.046, 107.357 (exact)[16]
  • Status: Phases 1-2: Operating (2011), Phase 3: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity: Phases 1 and 2: 680 MW (2 x 340 MW)[17]; Phase 3: 440 MW (2 x 220 MW)[9]
  • Type: Circulating fluidized bed (CFB)[17]
  • In service: Units 1 and 2: 2011[17]; Units 3 and 4: 2020[9]
  • Coal Type: anthracite, culm[17]
  • Coal Source: Cửa Ông Coal Company, Vietnam
  • Source of financing: China ExIm Bank supplied loans for 85% of the EPC contract value[17]

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. 8.0 8.1 "Vinacomin plans to build another thermal power plant," VietnamNet, November 27, 2015
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 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)
  10. Implementation of Power Projects in the Revised Power Development Plan 7, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Republic of Vietnam, Jun. 4, 2019
  11. Communication with GreenID, June 2020
  12. Nhiều dự án nguồn điện trong quy hoạch ‘chưa rõ tiến độ’ vào vận hành, Nang Luong Vietnam, Nov. 25, 2020
  13. 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
  14. Người dân Quảng Ninh 'than trời' vì bụi, tiếng ồn từ Nhà máy nhiệt điện Cẩm Phả, Baomoi, Jun. 25, 2019
  15. Cam Pha Thermal Power Plant: Million tons of waste and people's cry for help,, July 10, 2019
  16. Communication with GreenID, May 2020
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 "Coal-Fired Power Plants in Vietnam," Power Plants Around the World, accessed May 2016

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