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Facing increasing pressure from reliance on coal-fired power, Samsung Electronics Vietnam – the smartphone manufacturer which accounts for half of the smartphones shipped globally by the global corporation – is now seeking authorisation from the Vietnamese government to begin buying renewable energy directly from producers.
If approved, Samsung would be authorised to enter into direct power purchase agreements (DPPAs) to buy electricity from companies other than the state-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), Nikkei Asia reported.
“Vietnam has just begun to experiment on a limited basis with DPPAs for solar and wind energy. But a coalition of fashion brands from Nike to Mulberry, dissatisfied with the pace of progress, wrote to the government in December to speed up such approvals,” Nikkei added.
DPPAs have long been under consideration in Vietnam, with the Ministry of Industry and Trade having already held a consultation workshop in June 2019 to collect opinions on a potential pilot from international organisations, renewable energy developers, and potential buyers.
Samsung Vietnam plans to expand its presence in the country by setting up a research and development (R&D) centre, strengthening cooperation with domestic enterprise, and taking part in public infrastructure projects, its general director Choi Joo Ho has said.
In an interview with Tuoi Tre newspaper, Ho said Samsung launched the construction of the new R&D centre in Hanoi in last March and that it is scheduled for completion in December 2022.
“This is Samsung Electronics’ first R&D centre outside of the Republic of Korea and the largest of its kind by a foreign-invested enterprise in Vietnam,” he added.
Last year, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked Samsung to consider producing semiconductors in the country.
Last year, environmentalists has strongly urged Samsung C&T, part of the broader Samsung Group conglomerate, to divest from Vietnam's Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plant.