Foreign investors are increasing activities in renewable energy in Vietnam through new tie-ups, with a focus laid on self-use electricity due to the country’s global commitments to a greener future.
On August 24, Thailand-based smart energy provider Banpu NEXT acquired 49.04 per cent of shares in SolarESCO as it aims to capture a 25 per cent market share of rooftop solar power in Vietnam. At least 106MW will be deployed within the next 18 months.
SolarESCO is a member of SolarBK Group, which specialises in investing and providing a full-pledged solar power platform covering production, design, and more. As of the first quarter of 2022, SolarBK Group supplied solar power systems to the market with a total of 250MW.
Bubpachart, a representative of Banpu NEXT, said, “Realising the potential of Vietnam, the company started expanding its clean energy business in the country in 2018. We have continued to invest in solar and wind power plants with a total capacity of 218MW. Such a partnership with SolarBK Group will strengthen our business in Vietnam. The company also continues the expansion of its regional portfolio including Thailand, China, Japan, and Indonesia to enhance the betterment of people’s lives to foster a net-zero society.”
|New energy tie-ups lean to greener business ambitions |
In Vietnam, Banpu NEXT is developing 100MW of solar (Ha Think, Chu Ngoc, and Nhon Hai) and 118MW of wind energy (Vinh Chau and Mui Dinh).
Meanwhile, Japanese group JERA bought a 35.1 per cent stake in the Ho Chi Minh City-listed Gia Lai Electricity (GEC) from existing shareholders last month, with the aim to reach a renewable generation capacity of 5,000MW by 2025. The stake in GEC will add 190MW, bringing the company’s total renewable capacity to 1,900MW. JERA will also consider jointly developing solar and onshore wind projects with GEC.
JERA Asia CEO Toshiro Kudama said, “Since our investment in Phu My in 2005, we have viewed Vietnam as an important market in ASEAN and have sought opportunities to strengthen ties between our two countries. Our objectives are to contribute to both economic growth and decarbonisation across Asia, and this investment represents another milestone in this effort.”
JERA recently established a new corporate vision for 2035 to scale up its clean energy platform of renewable and low greenhouse gas thermal power. The group views Vietnam as a priority country where it has strong potential to engage in both liquefied natural gas and renewable energy projects that will contribute to both decarbonisation and a stable supply of energy that supports the country’s growth.
Vietnam anticipates green energies like wind and solar power to contribute one-third of the energy mix in 2030, up from 14 per cent at present, to help it achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
The nation also aims to reduce the proportion of coal-fired power in its power installation from 32 per cent by the end of 2020 to 9.6 per cent by 2045. A plan to halt building new coal-fired power plants starting in 2030 is now being reviewed by the Vietnamese government.
SolarBK’s CEO Nguyen Duong Tuan said that although Vietnam waits for the approval of the Power Development Plan VIII, renewable energy and rooftop solar power is still attracting the attention of both domestic and foreign investors.
“More domestic and overseas-based groups, especially in manufacturing here, have implemented various plans towards sustainable development, in which the application of renewable energy has become an indispensable factor,” Duong said.
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The long-awaited Power Development Plan VIII is set to target the development of about 7GW of offshore wind power in Vietnam. However, both investors and localities are waiting for a clearer roadmap.