The Vietnam-US cooperation in gas power and infrastructure development in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector was the focus of a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on December 6 (Illustrative photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) – The Vietnam-US cooperation in gas power and infrastructure development in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector was the focus of a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on December 6.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said that issuing energy policies and relevant decisions is not always easy for many countries. Like the US and some other nations, Vietnam needs to make some important and difficult decisions in the energy sector.

He added Vietnam’s investment choices will affect its energy security, environmental quality, and capability of sustaining growth. Therefore, the readiness of the business community and the US Government to assist the Southeast Asian nation will help them to achieve sustainable development.

The US Government will promote bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (EDGE) initiative, through which it will provide both financial and specialised aid.

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The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has assisted Vietnam with millions of US dollars to implement feasibility studies on wind power, solar power, and smart power grids. Meanwhile, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is helping the country build an energy development plan and a direct power purchase agreement mechanism.

Le Van Luc, Deputy Director of the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that Vietnam is now at a turning point in its energy transition, gradually reducing its dependence on polluting and outdated coal-fired power systems. This will create conditions for it to apply modern technologies in solar, wind, and natural gas power. Additionally, the country also boasts abundant solar and wind energy resources, especially in the southern region – where the energy demand is very high and still growing.

However, he noted, these renewable energy resources are unstable. Meanwhile, with the energy demand growing by 8 percent in 2018, southern localities are facing considerable challenges in how to sustain their growth. In the next three years, they are likely to face an annual shortage of 1.5-1.6 billion kWh of electricity.

Therefore, LNG projects will continue to be developed mainly in the south, the official said.

Ian Steff, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing at the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, said Vietnam-US relations are now more developed than ever. The presence of leading US businesses has affirmed their country’s support for Vietnam in reaching their set energy targets. 

Furthermore, the growth of Vietnam’s energy market is also a big opportunity for the US companies that export energy and related products, particularly in advanced energy technologies, he added.

At the seminar, the USTDA announced its intentions of supporting the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) group to develop a LNG port in the south of Vietnam. –VNA