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The Blue Circle to build $68 million wind power plant

Released at: 20:50, 01/08/2016

The Blue Circle to build $68 million wind power plant

Photo: Viet Tuan

Site in south-central Ninh Thuan allocated with project to be built in phases and completed by November 2019.

by Quynh Nguyen

Singaporean power investor The Blue Circle plans to build a $68 million wind power project with a capacity of 40 MW in Dam Nai reservoir in Ninh Hai district, south-central Ninh Thuan province.

Mr. Olivier Duguet, CEO of The Blue Circle, told VET that the project has been approved by the Ninh Thuan Provincial Department of Investment and Planning in July. “Construction in phases is expected to last until November 2019,” he said.

He added that sites such as Dam Nai, with very good wind resources and electrical grid connections on site, have all the attributes for success in a low Feed-In-Tariff environment. “They are the first targets for The Blue Circle in developing with our Vietnamese partners,” he added.

Sixteen months after having been granted site exclusivity from provincial authorities, the Singapore-based renewable energy specialist, along with its Vietnamese partner TSV, received an investment license for a 40 MW plant, opening the process to sign a long term site lease as well as a Power Purchase Agreement with EVN, the national power utility.

The Prime Minister’s Decision No. 428 on March 18, 2016 set a target of 4,000 MW for wind power capacity in Vietnam by 2015. This would place Vietnam as the leader in renewable power in Southeast Asia and would naturally be The Blue Circle’s primary market.

Mr. Olivier Duguet, Chief Executive Officer, The Blue Circle

The Blue Circle erected a 100-meter meteorological mast on the 933-ha site along National Highway 1 in May last year to measure wind velocity and the site has the potential for a total installed capacity of 70 to 100 MW.

The investment license confirms the site’s inclusion in the Energy Development Master Plan of Ninh Thuan province as well as grid capacity availability for the project.

“This approval for 40 MW is only the first phase of the total project,” said Mr. Dugeut. “With a grid connection on site, as well as very good wind speeds, the Dam Nai project has all the attributes to succeed even in a low Feed-In-Tariff environment.”

“It is a great achievement and recognition of the professional development work that has been done by our team in Vietnam during the last three years.”

The next steps for the project will be undertaking engineering studies along with remaining licensing and financing. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 on the first phase, to be followed by other phases in subsequent years.

“With less than 120 MW of wind power installed in the country so far, the Dam Nai project will position The Blue Circle as one of Vietnam’s wind energy pioneers, able to significantly contribute to the ambitious target set by the government,” Mr. Gilles Beau, Chief Development Officer for The Blue Circle, explained. “We intend to fully participate in wind power expansion in Vietnam going forward and make wind energy become a reality in a country with big potential.”

Under the national plan outlined by the government, the total capacity of hydropower projects will be 21,600 MW by 2020 and 27,800 MW by 2030, increasing from 17,000 MW now.

The total capacity of wind power projects will be increased from 140 MW to 800 MW by 2020 and to 6,000 MW by 2030. Solar capacity, meanwhile, is to rise from 850 MW to 4,000 MW by 2020 and 12,000 MW by 2030.

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