A consortium of Vietnamese companies has been granted permission to develop the $273 million Secaman 3 hydro plant in the Sekong province of Laos.

The six-member Viet-Laos Joint-stock Electricity Investment and Development Company consortium will develop the 250 MW project on a 30-year build, operate and transfer basis.

The group includes the Song Da Corporation, Electricity of Vietnam, Cienco8, 5 and the Central Construction Corporation and the Urban and Industrial Zones Development Investment Corporation.

The company will also install a 220 kV transmission line to link Secaman with the Vietnamese grid.

The plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2008.