(Roundup) Vietnam’s power sector attracts more foreign investors

HANOI, (PNA/Xinhua) — Vietnam’s power sector is attracting more foreign investors, reported local VietnamNet online newspaper on Thursday.

In late September, the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and Samsung C&T signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the infrastructure development, said the report.

The South Korean Samsung group expressed its special interest in the power projects in Vietnam. It sent staff to the central Nghe An province to learn about the investment opportunities in the Quynh Lap 2 thermo-power plant in the Dong Hoi Industrial Zone.

According to MPI, Quynh Lap 2 is among five power plants in the central and southern regions that Samsung would consider.

The other fours including the Vung Ang 3 in central Ha Tinh province, Quang Trach 2 in central Quang Binh province, Song Hau 3 in southern Hau Giang province, and Kien Luong in southern Kien Giang province.

Meanwhile, German Enercon Group, specializing in manufacturing equipments for wind power projects, has committed to mobilizing capital and providing equipments to the wind power project in southern Soc Trang province, said the report.

The project, capitalized at 1 billion euro (US$ 1.3 billion), has an expected capacity of 2,600 MW.

Analysts have commented that it’s now the right time for foreign investors to develop power projects, when a competitive electricity market takes shape and will be put into operation in the near future.

Foreign investors understand that the electricity demand in Vietnam is very big while the domestic power plants cannot meet the demand, according to MPI.

According to the ministry, Singaporean Sembcorp Utilities Pte Ltd. belonging to Sembcorp, is planning to develop a coal-fired thermo-power plant in central Quang Ngai province, capitalized at US$ 2 billion.

In mid-September this year, Sembcorp and the Ministry of Industry and Trade signed an MoU on the development of the Dung Quat thermo-power plant with the capacity of 1,200 MW in central Quang Ngai province.

The plant, when operational, will use import coal. The first power generation unit is expected to become operational in September 2020, while the whole plant will be operational in March 2021, providing some 7 billion kwh of electricity every year.

The Van Phong Thermo-power Plant No. 1 project with a designed capacity of 2,640 MW in central Khanh Hoa province is now under negotiations.

The Khanh Hoa provincial people’s committee had a working session with Japanese Sumitomo and Vietnam’s Hanoinco on the implementation of the project.

The report quoted Sumitomo group saying that it is conducting negotiations for a BOT (build, operation, transfer) contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The group expected the contract will be signed in the first quarter of 2014 before the administrative procedures get completed in the second quarter of 2014.

If everything goes well, the project would kick off in August 2015 and become operational in October 2019.

Tata Power, a subsidiary of Indian Tata Group, said the company has got the nod from the Vietnamese government to carry out the feasibility study on the 1,200 MW Long Phu 2 thermo-power plant in southern Soc Trang province.

Under the power development master plan, Vietnam will have an additional 5,000 MW to its capacity every year from now to 2020, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.