Construction work has officially begun at the 1200MW Lai Chau project in northwest Vietnam, the Vietnam News Agency has reported.

An official groundbreaking ceremony was held at the project site yesterday, attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The US$1.8B project is being developed by Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) and is expected to start generating in 2017.

The project will help raise the capacity of the national electricity grid and balance water flows to the lower regions of the Red River Delta.