Vietnam’s 19,000 MW of power will come from gas-fired power plants
The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and Vietnam Electricity (EVN) have recently signed a grant agreement for a technical assistance for a LNG terminal and gas-to-power project for Vietnam’s southern region.
The project aims to address difficulties and challenges for Vietnam’s electricity system in the time ahead and make contributions to guaranteeing the national power security.
USTDA’s feasibility study will set the initial parameters for the growth of LNG in the nation and bring much-needed affordable and accessible power to Vietnam’s southern region, while also opening new opportunities for US firms to supply gas infrastructure solutions.
According to USTDA Acting Deputy Director Todd Abrajano, during the operation time in Vietnam, the signing of cooperative agreements is expected to bring benefits for the US enterprises and Vietnamese partners.
American investors are not the only one who are keen on Vietnam’s power industry. The first months of 2019 saw a flurry of interest among foreign investors in LNG-fired power projects in Vietnam.
Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited (Gulf), at a meeting in March with Ninh Thuan province’s authorities, expressed interest in building a US$7.8-billion LNG-fired power complex in Ca Na, a coastal commune in the central province of Ninh Thuan.
It will have four LNG-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 6,000 MW to be built in build-operate-transfer (BOT) or other modes. An LNG regasification terminal will be another key component of the complex.
In addition to Ca Na, Gulf is also eyeing a 5,000 MW gas power complex in the southern province of Dong Nai and said it is ready to supply gas-fired power technologies to companies in Vietnam.
German Development Bank led by Michael Brandes, vice president for Power & Renewable projects in Asia Pacific, has also sought information about PV Power’s projects, including Nhon Trach 3 and 4 gas-fired power projects during a meeting with PV Power in March.
PV Power also met with representatives from Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Japan’s energy developer JERA Co, who said they are eager to partner with PV Power in implementing its upcoming projects, including Nhon Trach 3 and 4 power plants.
Good chance for LNG sectors
Vietnam is struggling to develop its energy sector since many coal-fired power projects have been behind the schedule, its hydropower potential is almost fully exploited and oil and gas reserves are drained away. In that context LNG-fired power plants will play a critical role in the country’s energy mix in the future, experts say.
According to analysts from Fitch Group’s Fitch Solutions Macro Research, Vietnam’s current crop of gas-to-power projects have a good chance of coming online as planned, due to a combination of supportive factors, including availability of funding, rising foreign capital inflows into the domestic power, natural gas and LNG sectors, alongside increasingly supportive government rhetoric for reducing emissions and promoting greater gas use.
“Interest among foreign investors in Vietnam’s natural gas and LNG sectors continues to be high, with the likes of Tokyo Gas and Marubeni Corporation interested in forging ties with domestic entities for potential opportunities in LNG, while the USTDA pledged its support to help improve Vietnam develop the LNG power industry,” Fitch said.
The revised national Power Development Plan VII envisages total power generation to reach around 129,500 MW by 2030. Of this 19,000 MW will come from gas-fired power plants, including LNG.
Under the country’s gas industry development plan by 2025, with vision to 2035, Vietnam plans to have six LNG terminals at a total cost of more than US$6 billion.
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