Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has announced plans to invest $1.65 billion building new power plants over the next five years.

The proposals will see the state-owned group develop new thermal capacity after an extended drought saw its hydroelectric capacity reduced.

EVN plans to develop 18 steam plants generating a further 37 MW from 2006-2007 and from 2007-08 the group plans to build an additional eight steam turbines and two boilers, delivering a further 1,320MW. A gas-fired facility is planned for development by 2008 with a capacity of 600 MW.

EVN is also entering power purchase agreements with China and neighbouring Cambodia in order to boost power supplies.