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Major solar farm project in Vietnam gets go-ahead

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Sunseap Group’s co-founder and CEO, Frank Phuan (left), with Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Sunseap International, a unit of Singapore’s clean energy provider Sunseap Group, has received the green light for a US$150 million solar farm in Vietnam. This new 168 MegaWatt-peak (MWp) facility will be located in the Ninh Thuan province.

The project is believed to be the largest solar collaboration between Singapore and Vietnam, which is scheduled to break ground in mid-2018 before going into commercial operation by June 2019. Once completed, it is expected to generate enough electricity to power up to 200,000 households in Vietnam and create permanent jobs for over 200 workers.

Under the investment agreement, Sunseap, together with its joint venture partners InfraCo Asia – an infrastructure development and investment company of Private Infrastructure Development Group, and CMX Renewable Energy Canada Inc – a solar developer based in Canada, will be allowed to sell solar power generated by its solar farm to Vietnam’s national grid at the mandated solar feed-in tariff of 9.35 US cents/kilowatt hour for the next 20 years provided they complete the delivery of the clean energy to the grid by June 2019.

“This is the largest project to date for Sunseap,” said Frank Phuan, co-founder and CEO of Sunseap. “There is so much potential to bring affordable and reliable clean energy to Vietnam and we are excited to work with a government that is committed to sustainable development as the way forward.

“The Vietnam solar farm project is in line with our vision to conserve the environment, and at the same time contribute to communities across Asia. We hope that our project can serve as a catalyst to promote greater investments in renewables not just in Vietnam but also throughout the Indo China region.”

“The 168 MWp solar farm project invested by Sunseap CMX RE Solar Holdings Pte Ltd is one of the largest solar energy projects in Ninh Thuan Province,” said Luu Xuan Vinh, chairman of Ninh Thuan Provincial People’s Committee. “We are pleased to announce that the People’s Committee of Ninh Thuan Province has issued the Investment Registration Certification and the Decision on Land Handover (Phase 1), handing over 130 ha of land to the project developer. The remaining 56 ha is expected to be handed over in May 2018.

“This project is an example of the collaboration between Vietnam and Singapore to attract investments in the renewable energy sector and demonstrates Vietnam government’s support for Singapore businesses to invest in Vietnam and Ninh Thuan. We are confident that this project will act as a catalyst for more foreign investments into Vietnam and look forward especially to greater collaboration with Singapore enterprises.”

Energy demand in Vietnam is reportedly seeing a 12% growth annually. According to targets set across by the Vietnamese Government, solar power is anticipated to become the main source of renewable energy in the future, with installed capacity expected to be increased to 850 MW by 2020, which would account for 1.6% of the country’s power generation and 12,000 MW by 2030.

Enterprise Singapore, the Singaporean government agency championing enterprise development, supported Sunseap in developing its new technologies and helped built its manpower capabilities in its expansion into Southeast Asia. Enterprise Singapore also supported Sunseap in connecting with industry stakeholders, including local and international financiers.

“We have seen traction in renewable energy projects in Vietnam, particularly in the solar energy sector,” said Tan Soon Kim, assistant CEO at Enterprise Singapore. “We hope to partner more companies to tap these growing opportunities in the market. The recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) we have signed with Vietnam Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority aims to bring in more potential downstream opportunities for Singapore companies.”