Vietnam is expected to have its largest offshore wind power project, which if becoming feasible, will greatly contribute to ensuring the country’s energy security.
The proposed offshore wind power project in Binh Thuan province requires total investment of nearly 12 billion USD.
Ian Hatton, chairman of UK-based Enterprise Energy, last week outlined a proposal for the $11.9 billion Ke Ga offshore wind farm, with the total capacity of 3,400 megawatts (MW). Funding to develop the giant project will be sourced internationally. “We have the high-graded Ke Ga Offshore Wind Development Zone (Ke Ga OWDZ), offshore southern Vietnam, where we believe our approach has the potential to deliver utility-scale offshore wind energy development within the government’s price expectations,” Hatton said at a conference on Ke Ga offshore wind power last week in Hanoi.
If approved, the project will be the largest offshore wind power project not only in Vietnam, but also in Southeast Asia, with success providing a large amount of clean electricity for the country’s power mix.
However, chairman of the Vietnam Energy Association Tran Viet Ngai pointed out that the revised 20-year feed-in-tariff (FiT) of 9.8 US cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for offshore projects is applied to a part or all grid-connected wind farms starting operation before November 1, 2021. The Ke Ga project misses this time frame as it will be launched in 2022. In the near future, Enterprise Energy will ask the Vietnamese government for special incentives for the giant project to push it online sooner, according to the association. “One thing we must pay attention to is the investment in transmission lines and substations, and pinpoint who will be in charge of the consumption of the power supply, be it the investor or Electricity of Vietnam,” said Ngai.
Meanwhile, Allan Baker, global head of power from investment bank Societe Generale stressed, “A bankable power purchase agreement (PPA) is the foundation of successful offshore wind markets.” He added that in Vietnam, the PPA is widely perceived as a constraint on development and finance.
The Ke Ga OWDZ is located outside of the current oil and gas production area of the Mekong Delta basin between 20 and 70 kilometres off southern Vietnam’s Binh Thuan and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.
The latter is the location of the PetroVietnam consortium offshore yards, where the turbine foundations and offshore electrical substation platforms would be fabricated prior to installation in the zone.