US utility plans $13bn windfarm for South China Sea, says Vietnam

Vietnam is hoping to 66GW of wind power in place by 2045 (Chris Lim/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced that AES Corporation, a utility based in the US state of Virginia, is to develop a $13bn offshore wind farm near the central province of Binh Thuan, the Reuters news agency reports.

The ministry said AES last week submitted a letter of intent to develop the project to Vietnamese delegates to the annual Vietnam-–US energy security dialogue in Washington.

It added that it also discussed the development of nuclear energy, energy storage systems and hydrogen production.

If it goes ahead as planned, the 4GW scheme would double Vietnam’s wind generating capacity, and would go to meeting the country’s target of developing 12GW of wind power by 2030 and 66GW by 2045.

Vietnam is engaged in an urgent expansion of electricity capacity to meet the needs of its rapidly growing economy. However, industry news site Power reports that the Industry and Trade Ministry this week asked government officials to cancel at least 14.2GW of coal-fired power projects included in a draft of a national master power development plan.

Vietnam is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

AES operates in 15 countries, one of which is Vietnam. It has been in the country since 2008, when it formed the company now known as AES Mong Duong, in which it has a 51% stake. The remaining shares are held by South Korea’s Posco Energy (30%) and the China Investment Corporation (19%). This was formed to develop the $2.1bn 1.2GW Mong Duong coal-fired power plant in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh.

In 2019, AES signed a memorandum of understanding with the ministry to develop a $1.8bn, 2.2GW gas-fired plant in southeastern Binh Thuan Province. It is presently working with PetroVietnam on the Son My LNG Terminal, one of six such facilities planned in the near future (see further reading).

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