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LNG-to-Power Project, $30 Billion in Offshore Wind Targeted for Vietnam

Power generation projects both thermal and renewable continue to be announced for Southeast Asia, with Vietnam taking a lead role with both onshore and offshore power generation installations. Details of a large liquefied natural gas (LNG)-to-power project were announced Sept. 13, just days after the country’s T&T Group and Denmark’s Ørsted said they are prepared to invest $30 billion support offshore wind power development for Vietnam.

T&T Group, a multi-industry conglomerate, on Monday said the company had a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Malaysia’s JAKS Resources Berhad, with the companies discussing collaboration on development of the 1,500-MW Quang Ninh 2 liquefied natural gas (LNG)-to-power project in Vietnam.

“T&T Group has planned a strategy to develop renewable energy and gas-to-power projects by 2030 with a vision to 2045, in line with the national strategy and planning of energy,” said Do Quang Hien, chairman of T&T Group, in a statement Friday after that day’s announcement with Ørsted. “This cooperation will help T&T Group accelerate the implementation of this strategy, bring valuable international experience and financial resources in the implementation of projects in Vietnam.”

The MOU with JAKS, signed Saturday at the Vietnamese embassy in Helsinki, Finland, means JAKS and T&T Group will work together on the Quang Ninh project, including determining the project’s location, design, and technology, as well as the infrastructure involved for the import terminal and the power plant. The two companies also will jointly select the LNG and gas-fired power equipment suppliers.

T&T Group said it would be responsible for all legal matters pertaining to the project, while JAKS will serve as the strategic investor, and also will be responsible for the engineering, construction, and commission process.

Increased Demand for Power

Andy Ang Lam Poah, CEO of JAKS, on Monday said the agreement is aimed at addressing Vietnam’s increased demand for electricity (which includes more renewable generation), and the country’s growing need for gas-fired generation capacity, which often requires imports of LNG. Bechtel and General Electric recently announced plans for a 3,200-MW gas-fired plant in Vietnam. GE Renewable Energy late last year said it would supply the turbines for one of many onshore wind farms planned across the country.

Vietnam has traditionally relied on coal as its primary source for generating electricity. The Power Development Plan VII, published in 2016, planned for coal to remain the key source of electricity generation in the country, as coal production capacity was projected to more than double its current levels by 2030. Development of coal power projects has slowed, though, as the country has moved to increase generation from natural gas and renewables. Development of LNG import infrastructure has become a priority for Vietnam.

“This is yet another breakthrough for JAKS to tap into the LNG field, which will essentially strengthen the group’s power and energy business division in Vietnam,” said Lam Poah in a statement. “Our first-ever entry into the power-energy sector was through the construction of the 1,200-MW Hai Duong Power Plant, which has fully commenced commercial operations in January this year.”

He continued: “We are confident of developing the LNG-to-power project with our capability, expertise and experience gained thus far, together with the support from T&T Group. This synergistic collaboration with T&T allows us to leverage on each other’s strengths to create value and growth in Vietnam.

“Importantly, under the draft Power Development Plan VIII (2021-2030), the Vietnamese government strongly supports the concept of using the LNG-to-power projects to provide sustainable and environmentally friendly energy generation due to environmental concerns, as well as the anticipated power shortage from 2021-2035,” Lam Poah said.

T&T Large Investor in Energy

T&T Group is a Vietnamese joint stock company incorporated in 1993 with diversified business operations across several industries. The company also is an investor and project developer in Vietnam’s energy sector; officials have said T&T through its renewable energy and LNG projects could account for about 8% of Vietnam’s total installed power generation capacity by 2030.

The group also Friday said it had signed an MOU with Belgium-based Smart Universal Logistics N.V, a company involved in sustainable energy and environmental infrastructure development, for development of desalination plants using wind power to produce fresh water for agriculture and aquaculture in Vietnam.

The T&T and Ørsted deal calls for the companies to collaborate on development of at least three offshore wind projects in Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan provinces, with a total estimated installed generation capacity of about 10 GW, and total expected investment of about $30 billion over the next 20 years.

“Ørsted aims to reach 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2030,” said Matthias Bausenwein, president of Ørsted Asia-Pacific. “To support this ambitious goal, we need to work closely with a partner like T&T Group, who bring a deep understanding of the market and have an impressive track record in developing large scale energy projects in Vietnam.”

Energy analysts have said power demand in Vietnam is expected to double between 2020 and 2030. With the country’s current feed-in-tariff (FiT) scheme scheduled to gradually decrease after November 2021, Vietnamese officials have has raised their wind power installed generation capacity target to 11 GW by 2030. About 10% of the country’s current electricity demand is supplied by renewable resources.

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