Not only power groups like Sembcorp, Tata Power, Graham Bell and Associates Limited – GBA, but also multi-field groups like Samsung and Sumitomo are planning to pour capital into power projects in Vietnam. The Vietnam Net online newspaper reports.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the cooperation in the infrastructure development was signed between the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and Samsung C&T in late September.

The South Korean Samsung group recent expressed its special interest in the power projects in Vietnam. It has sent staff to the central province of Nghe An to learn about the investment opportunities in the Quynh Lap 2 thermopower plant in the Dong Hoi Industrial Zone.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Quynh Lap 2 is just one of the five power plants in the central and southern regions Samsung would consider.

The other fours including the Vung Ang 3 in Ha Tinh, Quang Trach 2 in Quang Binh, Song Hau 3 in Hau Giang and Kien Luong in Kien Giang provinces.

The German Enercon Group, specialising in manufacturing equipments for wind power projects, has committed to mobilise capital and provide equipments to the wind power project in Soc Trang province.

The project, capitalised at 1 billion euro (1.3 billion USD), has an expected capacity of 2,600MW.

Analysts have commented that it’s now the right time for foreign investors to develop power projects, when a competitive electricity market takes shape and will be put into operation in the near future.

Foreign investors understand that the electricity demand in Vietnam is very big while the domestic power plants cannot meet the demand.

Singaporean Sembcorp Utilities Pte Ltd. belonging to Sembcorp is planning to develop a coal-fired thermopower plant in Quang Ngai province, capitalised at 2 billion USD.

In mid-September, Sembcorp and the Ministry of Industry and Trade signed an MOU on the development of the Dung Quat thermopower plant with the capacity of 1,200MW in Quang Ngai.

The plant, once becoming operational, would use import coal. The first power generation unit is expected to become operational in September 2020, while the whole plant would be operational in March 2021, providing some 7 billion kWh of electricity every year.

The Van Phong Thermopower Plant No. 1 project with a designed capacity of 2,640MW in Khanh Hoa province is now under the negotiations. The Khanh Hoa provincial people’s committee has had a working session with Japanese Sumitomo and Vietnamese Hanoinco on the implementation of the project.

The representative from Sumitomo group said at the working session that the group is conducting negotiations for a BOT (build, operation, transfer) contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

It is expected that the contract would be signed in the first quarter of 2014 before the administrative procedures get completed in the second quarter of 2014. If everything goes smoothly, the project would kick off in August 2015 and become operational in October 2019.

According to Tata Power, a subsidiary of Indian Tata Group, the company has got the nod from the Vietnamese Government to carry out the feasibility study on the 1,200MW Long Phu 2 thermopower plant in Soc Trang province.

Under the power development master plan, Vietnam will have an additional 5,000MW to its capacity every year from now to 2020.-VNA