BizLIVE - The Thai firm's move comes as the Vietnamese government is stimulating green growth.
Thai Solar Giant Plans $1.76 Billion Investment in Wind Projects in Vietnam
A wind power farm in Vietnam's central province of Binh Thuan. Photo: Minh Tuan/BizLIVE
Superblock Pcl, Thailand’s largest solar energy company, plans to invest $1.76 billion to develop 700 megawatts (MW) of wind farms in Vietnam in two phases, as the Vietnamese government pays increasing attention to green energy and trying to reduce dependence on coal.
In the first phase that will cost $651.84 million, the company will develop three near-shore farms in southern provinces of Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Ca Mau, with respective capacities of 142 MW, 98 MW and 100 MW, the company’s Chairman Jormsup Lochaya has told Reuters.
Construction has already begun and the farms are expected to become operational by 2020, Jormsup said.
In the second phase, the company will develop another 360 MW in those three provinces and construction will begin when the first phase concludes, he said.
Vietnam needs to add new power generation sources, especially non-fossil fuels, to accommodate economic growth and meet power consumption that grows around 10% annually.
And Vietnam wants to meet that demand with less air pollution, Jormsup said.
“Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi have similar problems and the Vietnamese want clean and cheap energy - this is driving renewable energy growth,” he said, adding that costs are much lower and that Vietnamese government policy on renewables is clear.
The chairman noted that financing for the Vietnam projects will come from its turnkey partner, a state-owned Chinese construction company.
Superblock is considering additional investment in a 50 MW solar farm in Vietnam and would make a full decision by the second quarter of this year, Jormsup said.
The Thai energy major holds solar power capacity of 760 MW and is waiting for government approval for a 695 MW wind project.
The Vietnamese government is shifting its focus to renewable energy to meet rising demand given that coal reserves are declining and construction costs are falling globally.
It has set an ambitious goal of reaching wind power capacity of 6,000 MW by 2030 while just 140 MW is operational currently. The government is due to announce a hike in feed-in tariff for wind power soon as it did with solar power in 2016.