First large-scale floating solar power supply in Vietnam launched hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently signed a deal to channel 37 million USD into the Da Nhim - Han Thuan - Da Mi Hydropower Joint Stock Company to install floating solar power panels.

The ADB on October 2 inked an agreement to provide a loan package worth 37 million USD to the Da Nhim - Han Thuan - Da Mi Hydropower Joint Stock Company to support the installation of floating solar power panels with a maximum capacity of 47.5 MWp on an existing man-made reservoir of the company’s 175MW Da Mi hydropower plant.

The project marks the installation of the first large-scale floating solar PV panel system in Vietnam and also the largest in Southeast Asia, according to ADB’s press release.

ADB Private Sector Operations Department Deputy Director General Christopher Thieme affirmed that the project will help to raise the ratio of renewable energy in the total energy capacity of Vietnam, while reducing dependence on imported fossil fuel such as coal.

The combination of two clean energy technologies of hydropower and solar power could be expanded to other locations across Vietnam and Asia-Pacific, he added.

The Da Nhim - Han Thuan - Da Mi Hydropower Joint Stock Company is a subsidiary of the Power Generation Corporation 1 (EVN Genco 1) under the Vietnam Electricity (EVN).

The company owns and operates four hydropower plants of Da Mi, Ham Thuan, Da Nhim, and Song Pha, with a combined capacity of 642.5 MW, equivalent to 1.7 percent of the country’s total power generation capacity.

Board of Directors of the Da Nhim - Han Thuan - Da Mi Hydropower JSC Nguyen Trong Oanh noted that the project is in line with the company’s strategy to invest in renewable energy in a bid to lessen its reliance on fossil fuel, thereby contributing to ensuring energy security and reducing impacts of climate change, along with facilitating environmental protection and sustainable socio-economic development.

Vietnam has now 82 solar power projects with a combined capacity of 4,460MW, making up about 10 percent of the total power production of the country.

As many as 13 other projects are underway, with a combined capital of 630MW, which are expected to become operational in late 2019.

Reservoirs in southern Vietnam hold huge potential for solar power development, he said, adding that capitalising on the strong relationship between EVN and ADB, the sides have worked together to develop a new energy source for the country.

The package includes a loan worth 17.6 million USD from ADB’s ordinary capital resources. An additional 15 million USD was granted by the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia and its successor Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II.

The funds were set up by the Canadian government to encourage the private sector’s investment in projects aiming to mitigate and adapt to climate change in Asia-Pacific.

The package also comprises of a parallel loan worth 4.4 million USD from the Leading Asia’s Private Sector Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through an equity commitment worth 1.5 million USD.

LEAP focuses on delivering high quality and sustainable private sector infrastructure projects that reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and offer accessible and affordable health care, education, and communication services to ADB’s developing member countries.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to 21.6 billion USD. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members - 49 from the region./.