Denmark Vestas Wind Systems, one of the world’s leading wind energy companies, last week organised a roadshow in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to present its technologies and financial solutions for wind power in Vietnam. VIR’s Bich Ngoc spoke with Vestas Asia Pacific & China president Chris Beaufait on how to promote wind power as a sustainable energy solution for Vietnam.
Vestas Asia Pacific & China president Chris Beaufait
How important is Vietnam’s market to Vestas and what’s your assessment of the local market for wind power?
Vietnam is regarded by Vestas as one of the largest untapped wind power markets in Southeast Asia. The country has very good wind resources and while the demand for energy in Vietnam is increasing, the government is increasingly turning towards green energy. All these factors make Vietnam a promising market, but of course there are also challenges for wind power development, mainly linked to financing and competencies available in the market.
Why did you choose Vietnam as an investment destination?
Vietnam has experienced a massive increase in its energy demand due to industrial development, rise of motorised transport, and increase in household usage of modern fuel, especially electricity. These drivers are expected to continue to account for most of the energy demand increase over the next decade.
Most leading countries are investing in renewable energy resources as a future solution. Vietnam has recently taken some steps towards renewable energy generation, particularly in the hydro sector, and is now looking into other low cost energy resources to address its national energy challenges.
Wind energy is a clean and low cost renewable resource available in the country. It is also the world’s fastest growing energy resource and a feasible long-term solution for Vietnam, especially considering that Vietnam is among the countries with the most abundant wind energy potential in the Southeast Asian region.
Vestas is a reputable wind power technology provider
What have you done so far in Vietnam?
Vestas installed one of the first commercial wind farms in Vietnam on Phu Quy Island, in Binh Thuan province back in 2011. The wind farm started commercial operations in 2012 and it consists of three V80-2.0 MW turbines, totalling an output of 6MW.
Besides the first project in Phu Quy Island, we just signed an MoU with the Phu Cuong Group in Soc Trang province for a 170MW wind farm project in which Vestas is chosen as Phu Cuong Group’s preferred technology partner. We will support Phu Cuong Group in providing technical support at each phase of the development cycle, facilitating low-cost financing options; and ensuring business case certainty through its long-term operation and maintenance.
Please name the advantages that Vestas can bring to late adopters like Vietnam?
Vestas is keenly aware of the challenges facing frontier wind markets like Vietnam at the start of their wind power journey, and is ready to share its knowledge with wind partners in Vietnam. Furthermore, Vestas is ready to bring its experience working with international financial institutions and share these resources with local investors, financiers, and developers. Vestas turbine’s reputation and performance is well recognised globally, and this can mitigate the risks and make financing easier for local investors.
We will also bring in experts to help wind farm developers better understand farm design, development and construction, as well as operation and maintenance.
What is Vestas’ development strategy in Vietnam?
We always believe wind is a solution for Vietnam. We have for many years been working with a Vietnam-based towers supplier. By doing so have been able to contribute to creation of jobs in the country and to the development of local competencies related to wind power. We engage a number of wind farm developers, work with them and help them better understand wind power opportunities and challenges or to investigate new areas for wind power development. In addition to this, we are also working with financial institutions such as IFU and EKF from Denmark which can act as financial consultants for investors. During this roadshow, we signed an MoU with the Phu Cuong Group in Soc Trang province for a 170MW wind farm project.
||Danish provide Vietnam with green energy access
The Danish government is actively supporting Vietnam’s access to green growth in wind power.
||Phu Cuong Group seals Vestas Soc Trang deal
Denmark Vestas Wind Systems last week signed an MoU for a 170MW wind farm project in Soc Trang province with the locally-owned Phu Cuong Group.