The Mekong Delta coastal province of Soc Trang, located some 240 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City and 60km from Can Tho city, has immense potential as a wind power generation hub. Report by Vietnam Investment Review.

With a 72km coastline and the estuaries of Tran De, My Thanh and Dinh An, Soc Trang has enormous potential for the development of processing industries, tourism and shipping services, and particularly wind power.

In the province’s coastal districts, wind velocities at a height of 60 metres average 6.3 metres per second. It was estimated that with some 3.45 billion USD in investment, Soc Trang could host wind farms capable of producing 1.177 gigawatts of electricity.

The districts of Tran De and Cu Lao Dung and Vinh Chau town have been specifically earmarked for wind power development.

Field surveys in Vinh Chau town’s coastal areas conducted by Enercon Group - a global wind power equipment manufacturer, found the area had huge potential for wind power development compared to other locations in the Mekong Delta.

A source from Enercon revealed the group would take the plunge and begin procedures for a 1-billion euro, 2,600-megawatt wind power investment project in Soc Trang.

According to Germany’s EAB Group, Vinh Phuoc ward and Vinh Tan commune also located in Vinh Chau town are the best places for wind power investment.

The Soc Trang provincial People’s Committee has given in-principle agreement for eight wind power investment projects in the province with a combined capacity of about 1,000MW.

These include the Tran De district-based wind power farm project by Lien Nghia Investment JSC with an estimated capacity of 565.4MW, Vinh Chau town wind power farm project owned by a consortium consisting of local partner Traseco and Germany’s EAB Group with 120MW, Cong Ly Soc Trang wind power farm owned by Cong Ly Construction-Trade-Tourism Limited in Vinh Chau town’s Lai Hoa commune with 200MW, and Quoc Vinh Company Limited’s wind power farm project in Vinh Chau town’s Vinh Hai commune with 120MW.

Despite economic difficulties in the past year, Soc Trang has managed a robust pace of growth. In 2012 the province’s gross domestic product (GDP) registered a 9.1 percent growth compared to the national average of 5 percent.

Soc Trang is drafting its wind power development plan for the 2012-2020 period with a vision towards 2030 which will soon be submitted to the Government for consideration.-VNA