Singapore-based The Blue Circle has recently received an investment certificate for developing the US$60 million and 40 megawatt first phase of the Dam Nai wind power project in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan.
The site of 933 hectares along Highway No1 has seen a 100 metre meteorological mast planted by The Blue Circle in May last year to measure wind velocity. It has a potential for a total installed capacity of 70 to 100MW.
The investment certificate awarded to the company confirms the site inclusion in Ninh Thuan’s power development master-plan, as well as grid capacity availability for the project.
The Singaporean developer along with its Vietnamese partner TSV is expected to sign a long-term lease and a power purchase agreement with state-run Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to implement the project.
The next steps for the project will be undertaking engineering studies, permits, and finance. Construction is scheduled to start in 2017, to be followed by other phases in subsequent years.
The firm’s chief executive officer Olivier Duguet said that with the grid connection on site and good wind speed, the Dam Nai project’s first phase had all potential for success, despite a low feed-in-tariff (FiT), which is set at 7.8 US cents per kWh.
Gilles Beau, chief development officer for The Blue Circle noted that with less than 120MW of wind power installed in the country so far, the Dam Nai project would position The Blue Circle as one of Vietnam’s wind energy pioneers able to significantly contribute to the ambitious target set by the government.
“We intend to fully participate in the wind power expansion in Vietnam going forward and make wind energy a reality in a country with great potential,” he said.
Previously, Portuguese CJR Wind teamed up with Vietnam Electricity Construction Joint-Stock Corporation to develop wind power projects in Vietnam, with the goal of establishing footprints across Southeast Asia.
In another case, the Republic of Korea (RoK)'s developer Woojin Construction Co., Ltd. has been licensed by the Tra Vinh People’s Committee to develop the US$247.6 million second phase of the RoK-Tra Vinh wind power farm in the Mekong Delta province’s Duyen Hai town.
Meanwhile, in May this year, the US’ GE and the Ministry of Industry and Trade inked a memorandum of understanding to accelerate the development of renewable energy in Vietnam.
Accordingly, the ultimate purpose of both parties is to develop a minimum of 1,000MW of new wind farms by 2025. This represents enough energy to power the equivalent of approximately 1.8 million Vietnamese homes.
Another investor, Vesta from Denmark along with Thuan Binh Wind Power is accelerating Phu Lac wind farm in the south-central province of Binh Thuan.
The farm covers 400 hectares of land and has the investment capital of VND1 trillion (US$46.5 million) for building 12 wind turbines, capable of producing 24MW. The first phase is expected to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2016.
To call for investment capital to the sector, the Binh Thuan Wind Power Association recently proposed the Vietnamese government to increase the current FiT to 10 US cents per kWh in 2016, and a higher tariff of 12 US cents per kWh by 2020.