While foreign investors are lining up to invest in new wind farms in Vietnam, numerous previously licensed wind farms are long delayed in construction or had their investment certificates revoked.
One of these is the Phuoc Nam–Enfinity wind farm invested by Belgian company Enfinity in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan. The project has been awaiting construction for five years to date.
The Ninh Thuan People’s Committee has sent an ultimatum to Enfinity, requiring the investor to submit a detailed report on the implementation plan and the project’s financial potential. In addition, the investor will have to make a large deposit and give written proof of its commitment to develop the project on schedule. Furthermore, Enfinity will have to complete the necessary procedures to kick off the construction in December, in line with previous plans.
Licensed in March 2011, the 553-hectare project has the total investment capital of $266 million. It was designed with a capacity of 124.5 megawatts. The investor committed to starting construction immediately after receiving the investment certificate so that the project could come into operation in December 2012. However, no move was implemented at that time.
At the end of 2011, Enfinity committed to start construction works in December 2012, but it backed down later and proposed the province to extend the deadline.
In 2014, after securing approval for four consecutive extensions, the provincial leader required the investor to pay a deposit to ensure the project’s implementation and accelerate the construction progress to put the plant into operation in December 2016.
However, as of yet, the investor has not given more than empty promises.
Being particularly suited for the development of wind farms, Ninh Thuan committed to providing favourable conditions for investors. The province currently has 12 wind farm projects in its master plan, however, all of them are behind schedule. These projects include Mui Dinh, as well as wind farms of Enfinity, South Korean LandVille Energy, and Malaysian wind power company Timur.
The province revoked the investment certificates of three projects. The first is Phuoc Dan wind farm, invested by Thuong Tin Power Joint Stock Company. The project was licensed in December 2008 with the total investment capital of VND1.29 trillion ($57.8 million). However, as of now, the construction has yet to kick off, despite the province’s prodding.
In the 2014-2015 period, the province revoked the investment certificates of two projects worth over VND2.4 trillion ($107.5 million), located in Ninh Phuoc district.
In April 2016, Ninh Thuan denied the plan of Argentinean wind farm company IMPSA to invest in a project in the two districts Ninh Phuoc and Thuan Nam. The reason was that IMPSA had not finished the administrative procedures to start investment within six months, as promised back in 2011 when the people’s committee agreed in principle to the project.
Earlier, IMPSA proposed constructing a wind farm and a plant producing wind turbine parts, with the total investment value between $2 and $3 billion. At the end of 2011, IMPSA gained approval to raise the project area to 1,000 hectares from the initial 600. Since then, the company made no more moves.
According to data released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, a total of 50 wind farm projects have been registered, but only five saw implementation. Three of these, namely Tuy Phong in the south-central province of Binh Thuan (30MW), a 6 MW wind farm project on Phu Quy island, also in Binh Thuan, and the 99MW Bac Lieu plant, are generating commercially.