Infrastructure & PPPs in Vietnam - Q22021 Update
VIETNAM has increased focus on transport sector PPPs in the country, most notably in the roads sector. The renewable energy sector development continues to be evolve with an increased focus on transmission grid infrastructure development.
Read the key developments in Infrastructure and PPPs in the country in our latest insight.
VIETNAM PLANS PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR DOMESTIC AIRPORT PPP
The government of central Vietnam's Quang Tri province will conduct a pre-feasibility study for a public-private partnership project to build a new airport. The domestic airport will have an annual capacity of 1 million passengers and 3,100 tons of cargo. It will occupy a total area of approximately 316ha and is likely to be operational by 2030.
The project will have a total investment cost of VND 4.4trn (USD 190 Mn). In January 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam submitted plans to develop or upgrade six airports using PPPs: Sa Pa in Lao Cai province, Quang Tri and Dong Hoi in Quang Binh province, Rach Gia in Kien Giang province, and Ca Mau and Lai Chau in the provinces of the same name.
Vietnam approved a new PPP Law in 2020 covering all projects with a minimum value of VND 200bn, with the aim to attract foreign investment to PPPs in the country.
CHINA'S RISEN ENERGY EXPANDS INTO VIETNAM WIND SECTOR
Chinese solar panel manufacturer Risen Energy is expanding into Vietnam's wind power sector and is interested in potentially financing such projects.
The company will first serve as a project builder and then evaluate investment opportunities, it will adopt the build-to-sell model for its projects. Risen Energy in April 2021 secured its first contract to build a 50 MW wind power plant in Vietnam. The Chinese company will partner with Hong Kong's Oasis Power Energy Development to develop the project in Duc Hoa township of southwest Long A province, as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
The Shanghai-based solar company will likely collaborate with Oasis on future wind power projects in Vietnam.
Risen Energy, which already has solar projects in Vietnam, is looking to establish its presence in the wind sector due to the country's rising renewable electricity demand as well as its rich wind resources in coastal areas.
Risen Energy signed its First Solar deal with Vietnamese renewables developer Tasco Energy in 2018 to undertake an EPC contract for a 61 MW solar power plant in southern Ninh Thuan province’s Thuan Nam district. The company also signed another EPC deal with Indian developer Surya Prakash Vietnam Energy Company for a 50 MW solar farm in Ninh Thuan, which has a cost of about VND 1.6trn.
RAWABI TO INVEST IN SWIBER'S VIETNAM LNG PROJECT
Saudi Arabian energy group Rawabi has signed a deal to invest up to USD 200Mn in troubled Singaporean offshore marine company Swiber Holdings.
Rawabi will invest up to USD 190Mn in Equatoriale Energy, which owns the development-stage liquefied natural gas (LNG) power project in Ben Tre province of Vietnam. It will invest another USD 10Mn in New Swiber - the company to be set up after restructuring Swiber. Equatoriale Energy plans to form a joint venture consortium with Vietnamese energy developer Thang Uy Energy for the power project.
Equatoriale Energy, Rawabi and Thang Uy signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ben Tre province government to develop the power project.
The project, estimated to cost USD 1Bn, is expected to produce 1.2 GW of electricity and will be followed by an equal capacity LNG power project.
VIETNAM WIND PROJECTS TO RECEIVE DEBT FINANCING
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to arrange USD 116Mn of debt to finance the development of wind power projects totalling 144 MW in Vietnam's Quang Tri province. The Manila-based bank will provide USD 35Mn in the form of an A loan from its own account and USD 81Mn as a syndicated B loan.
The B loan participants include Bank of China (Hong Kong), Bank of China (Macau branch), Société Générale and Triodos Groenfonds, while Japan International Cooperation Agency and Export Finance Australia will provide parallel loans for the project. The projects include three developments - the Lien Lap, Phong Huy and Phong Nguyen wind power facilities - each with a capacity of 48 MW. It will be owned and operated by Vietnamese infrastructure developer and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company Power Construction and Japan-based power developer RENOVA.
The projects are set to generate an average of 422 GWh of electricity and avoid an average of 162,430 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. They will sell power to Vietnamese state-owned utility EVN through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
VIETNAM 330 MW SOLAR PLANT SEEKS REFI
Power developer BCG Energy is seeking to refinance more than USD 200Mn of debt linked to the 330 MW Phu My solar power plant in Vietnam. The company is in discussions with international lenders including Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank.
The VND 6.2trn (USD 269Mn) plant started construction in May 2020. It is located in the My an and My Thang communes of Phu My district in Binh Dinh province and includes three solar facilities with capacities of 120 MW, 110 MW and 100 MW. The facilities sell power to state-owned utility EVN at a fixed tariff of USD 0.0709 per kWh.
VIETNAM PUSHES PPPS FOR HO CHI MINH CITY ROADS
Vietnam’s central government has told authorities in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring localities to use PPPs to develop two expressways. The projects - the city's third and fourth ring roads - have total lengths of 89km and 197km, respectively. Currently, 16.3km of the third ring road is operational, while 11km of the fourth has been completed. Both should now be PPPs. The third ring road is slated to be completed before 2025, while work on the fourth is likely to be finished by the end of 2030, they have estimated investment costs of VND 55.8trn (USD 2.4Bn) and VND 100trn.
The Vietnamese government tapped the Asian Development Bank to conduct initial studies to develop Ho Chi Minh's third ring road as a PPP in 2016, and it had previously requested the Korean Economic Development Fund to finance part of the third ring road project. Hanoi, Vietnam’s financial hub, proposed to develop a 98km third ring road using the PPP model, The project is set to cost between VND 105trn and VND 135trn.
VIETNAM AWARDS NORTH-SOUTH EXPRESSWAY PPP SEGMENT
The Vietnamese government has awarded one of the segments of the nationwide North-South Expressway to local construction company Son Hai Group. The Ministry of Transport signed a PPP contract with the firm to develop the VND 5.5trn (USD 237Mn) Nha Trang-Cam Lam section of the project. The government will invest VND 2.9trn in the project, while Son Hai Group will finance the balance.
The public investment contribution will help the development overcome shortcomings faced by previous build-operate-transfer projects, including reducing risk for investors and lenders during the implementation of the project. The 50km project will connect the Dien Tho commune with the Cam Thinh Tay commune in the south-central province of Khanh Hoah.
The PPP project includes a two-year construction period and an operation period of 16 years and four months. The Nha Trang-Cam Lam project is part of a batch of five segments of the North-South Expressway set to be developed as PPPs.
WORLD BANK FLAGS 40 GW VIETNAM OFFSHORE WIND POTENTIAL
Vietnam’s offshore wind sector has the potential of reaching a capacity of 40 GW by 2040. Offshore wind energy might amount to 27%, or 70 GW, of the country’s energy mix by 2050 under a high-growth scenario for the industry, Vietnam had a total offshore wind capacity of 99 MW at the end of 2019.
To boost market interest for the sector, the government should start working on a nationwide marine spatial plan to identify specific areas to develop projects.
Between 2022 and 2035, the government should focus on developing its transmission grid infrastructure so that energy from offshore wind farms can reach the whole country. Vietnam has suffered over congestion issues in recent years, especially in the southern part of the country, where most new solar projects have been developed.
The government needs to establish a transparent and predictable system to develop projects to attract long-term private investment with the right technical know-how.