Chan May initiative brings the power

July 20, 2020 | 15:26
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With an eye towards long-term, sustainable power development to fuel Vietnam’s ascension to become an economic powerhouse, the Chan May LNG Power Plant project is being launched to help fuel job creation and economic development in a post-pandemic economy.
1501p15 chan may initiative brings the power
The $6 billion dollar scheme will be located in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue

Borrowing a page out of the United States and Europe’s development as renewable energy innovators, the initiative will act as a catalyst for the creation of Vietnam’s clean energy sector.

With the total investment estimated at $6 billion, the project promises to create breakthroughs in the domestic energy sector, stimulate vigorous job creation and economic growth in the era after COVID-19, and contribute to the growth of trade and investment relations between Vietnam and the US. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of relations between the two nations, Chan May hopes to bring them closer together.

“Chan May JSC couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the world’s greatest success story that is Vietnam,” said company CEO John Rockhold, an American citizen who moved to Vietnam almost 30 years ago in order to help in the normalisation of relations between the two countries.

No stranger to working in Vietnam, Rockhold has spent the majority of his career building some of the country’s largest infrastructure projects. “Chan May’s mission is to provide Vietnam with a source of clean energy to help it meet its development needs in the most sustainable way possible.”

In February, the Politburo issued Resolution No.55-NQ/TW on orientation of the National Energy Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2045. Resolution 55 emphasises on rapid energy development using liquefied natural gas (LNG), reinforcing it to gradually become a key source of power for the national power system.

The resolution prioritises sustainable energy development while fostering favourable conditions for all economic sectors, especially the private sector, to participate in energy development; ultimately, to meet the goals of the national socio-economic development strategy while protecting the ecological environment and ensuring national security and defence.

In that spirit, the Chan May LNG Power Plant scheme, invested in and developed by Chan May JSC, will be located in Chan May-Lang Co economic zone in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

With the total capacity of 4,000 megawatts, the project expects to start construction in the first quarter of next year and launch the first phase of commercial operations in 2024, as an independent power plant with capital breakdown of 60 per cent US-owned and 40 per cent Vietnamese. When put into operation, the plant will provide an average power output of 24-25 billion kilowatt hours per year.

1501p15 chan may initiative brings the power
The power plant project is a tie-up between both Vietnamese authorities and top American institutions

Thousands of jobs will be created through the construction of the project, and Chan May’s true contribution to the country will be in the training and employment of hundreds of engineers and technicians. Chan May will work with local universities and training centres in Hue to develop training programmes to prepare the country for the labour force required for Vietnam to lead the region in clean energy production.

“Creating more and better jobs is central to our work at Chan May,” said Rockhold. “The World Bank estimates that 300 jobs are created with every $10 million of investment. However we see our impact on Vietnam’s labour force being much broader. Our hope is that we can help prepare it for the next wave of clean energy.”

Along with supporting the country’s energy and economic needs, Chan May’s goal is to become a model independent power project, whose success can be replicated throughout Vietnam. Accompanying the project are support programmes from the US government for private project investments of their citizens abroad, along with global leading partners in the financial, technology, operation, gas supply, and management fields.

Some of these partners include the US Development Finance Corporation, US Asia EDGE, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, US Exim Bank, GE, Black & Veatch, Baker McKenzie, E&Y, McKinsey, and ERM.

The Chan May LNG Power Plant views the secret to its long-term success to be the combination of a truly international team led by Vietnamese and long-term American expatriates, with top-notch local partners, a host of best of breed service and operating partners, and the strong commitment of local and national government leaders.

The venture has been conceived and developed in conjunction with, and under the guidance of the local and central government and ministries in order to help Vietnam overcome the challenges it is facing to meet the demands of a rapidly-growing economy. The project has begun to work overtime in order to help Vietnam in its post-pandemic recovery.

“Chan May could not have made it this far this quickly without taking a truly international approach to developing the project, as well as working closely with both governments to figure out how to make this project a reality,” said Rockhold.

Chan May selected LNG not only as a base fuel to help transition the country from coal to more sustainable forms of energy, but also as a means to help make Vietnam more secure. It is working closely with the US Department of Energy and US Department of State to ensure the procurement and transportation of LNG from the US to Vietnam.

By Phuong Ngan

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