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|Vietnam’s growth is driving a need for new energy sources, Photo: Shutterstock|
Ian Hatton, chairman and founder of Enterprize Energy, gave an update to a conference on Vietnam’s low carbon energy future last week on progress of a proposal for the $11.9 billion Ke Ga offshore wind farm. The facility plans involve total capacity of 3,400 megawatts (MW), where an average wind speed of 9.5 metres per second has been recorded.
Enterprize Energy is targeting commissioning the first string of turbines by the end of 2022, and completing the proposed 600MW of initial construction phase during 2023.
Hatton announced that the group would be engaging with UK-based ODE Ltd., to further develop an articulated wind column foundation, which can provide a cost-effective turbine solution for water depths from 70 to 150 metres.
“We see real potential for this foundation in Taiwan, Vietnam, and Japan. Enterprize has already identified prospective sites in Vietnam and Taiwan for its deployment,” Hatton said. “It is a great example of technology transfer from the oil and gas sector, an area where the UK has been an exemplar of engineering excellence in successfully opening up energy resources in extremely challenging marine conditions.”
In January 2019, the Vietnamese prime minister asked Enterprize to prepare and conduct a survey, feasibility report, and formal proposal to put 3,400MW of the Ke Ga offshore wind power project into the Revised National Power Development Plan VII.
Last week, the detailed survey and work plan to evaluate the 2,000 square kilometre Ke Ga zone was submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade for approval. The contents of the plan include full environmental impact assessment, geotechnical research, wind resource assessment, grid connection, and impact analysis, along with design of sub-structures for offshore turbines and sub-stations, a project execution plan, and a financing plan.
The contractor for the survey plan is Electricity Construction Consultancy JSC 3, supported by Enterprize’s technical team and technical advisers from British companies such as ODE, APEM, and Braemar. Financial planning is supported by Societe Generale (SocGen), appointed by Enterprize to lead this process.
Enterprize has adopted an accelerated, parallel processed schedule to promote the rapid development of the Ke Ga zone. It had previously announced selection of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind to supply wind turbine generators, the design of sub-structures by Vietsovpetro, and their fabrication by Vietsovpetro and PVC-MS. SocGen has been appointed lead advisor for project financing and structuring.
If successful, the gigantic Ke Ga offshore wind farm will play an important role as the largest offshore wind power project in Southeast Asia, providing a large amount of clean electricity for the country’s power mix, especially in the context of concern on potential power shortages in the southern provinces.
“Vietnam’s impressive economic growth is driving a need for new energy resources. The government has very clear determination to meet rising energy demand with substantive growth in the supply of low-carbon, renewable energy,” Hatton said. “We have high-graded an area which we refer to as the Ke Ga Offshore Wind Development Zone, offshore southern Vietnam, where we believe our collaborative approach has the potential to deliver utility-scale offshore wind energy development within the government’s price expectations.”
The Vietnam Energy Association’s chairman Tran Viet Ngai suggested, “To ensure the effectiveness of the Ke Ga wind power project, we suggest that while sketching out the project schedule, we must ensure consistency among phases, from plant construction, transmission lines, and substation planting operations each year to completion.”
Ngai continued, “We must pay attention to the investment in transmission lines and substations, and who will be in charge of the consumption of the Ke Ga wind power supply. The supply can soon be utilised for Vietnam’s socio-economic development, make up for the shortage of power in the near future, and ensure the nation’s energy security, as the country’s electricity demand is expected to see an increase of more than 10 per cent per annum in the coming years due to rising population and accelerating economic growth.”