The Phong Dien Fuhrlaender Vietnam Joint Stock Company will build a wind powered turbine factory at a cost of US$25 million in Tuy Phong district in the southern province of Binh Thuan

Covering on a site of 23 hectares, it will make and assemble 48 1.5MW turbine with a combined capacity of 72MW in the first phase and 48 2.5MW turbine in the second phase, brining the total capacity to 192MW.

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This is the first wind powered turbine manufacturer to supply turbines for wind power projects both in Vietnam and overseas.

Potential for wind power

Surveys show that around 28,000 square kilometres of Vietnam’s land has an average wind speed of over seven metres per second at the height of 65 metres above sea level. This speed is considered suitable by international experts, who offered an assessment potential of over 110,000 megawatts (MW).

A survey by the World Bank has also found that Vietnam has greater wind energy potential than Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. It says Vietnam is capable of producing 513,360 MW annually, or 200 times the output of the Son La Hydroelectric Plant in the north – Southeast Asia’s largest power plant – and ten times the entire national capacity forecast for 2020.

Some coastal areas in the central and central highlands regions are considered good places to set up wind farms, thanks to high “wind power density” and open spaces.

The said that Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces have the greatest potential for harnessing wind energy. Wind power generation in Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Tra Vinh and Soc Trang could reach 800MW.

In addition to high average speed, local wind tends to be steady due to the small amount of storms. During the monsoon period, winds reach speeds of six to seven metres per second, which experts consider suitable for building electricity stations with a capacity of 3-3.5 MW.

Experts said that wind energy has several advantages over other power sources: It does not cause pollution, affect crops or displace people. It also helps save on the cost of transmission since wind turbines can be set up near residential areas.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry carried out a project to draw up a master plan on developing alternative energy in the years to 2015 and through to 2025. Under this plan, renewable energy will increase to 5 percent of total national energy output, with wind and solar power accounting for half.

Wind power projects in Vietnam

The Phuong Mai 3 Wind Power Plant, which has an annual capacity of 55 MW, was the first wind power project in Vietnam. Construction was kicked off in September 2007 in the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone in the central province of Binh Dinh.

The plant was built on 140ha of land, at a cost of more than US$35.7 million, invested in by the Central Region Wind Power JS Company. Phuong Mai has 14 turbines, 14 transformers and it can supply over 55 million kWh of power a year.

Switzerland-based Aerogie Plus is working on a diesel-wind power plant on the island of Con Dao, in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, with a total investment of Eur20 million. The investor has signed a power purchase contract with local authorities.

According to design, this plant will operate with two systems: wind turbines and diesel turbines. The construction began in early 2009 and the plant will become operational in 2010.

Another wind-power project named Tuy Phong, which is located on an area of 1,500 hectares in Tuy Phong district, the central province of Binh Thuan, will connect to the national power grid with an initial capacity of 7.5 megawatts (MW) this August. The investor is the Vietnam Renewable Energy JS Company.

The Cau Dat Wind Power Plant project is scheduled to get underway in Da Lat city, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong in 2010, in the form of build – operate – own (BOO). The plant is built on 2ha of land, with designed capacity of 30MW and 20 wind turbines. The total investment is $57 million. Once this plant is put into operation in June 2011, it will supply around 90 million kWh per year. The investor is Cavico Transport Corporation.

Over 20 wind power projects are currently underway with the ability to generate an expected electricity output of 20,000 MW. However, none of these projects have been put into operation and connected with the national grid. The slow process of implementation of wind-power production is attributed to its high costs.

Wind farm to turn arid land into town

After over one year under construction, the wind power project in Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan Province, will be hooked up to the national electricity grid this month. The largest wind energy project SE Asia, once in operation, is expected to help boost regional socio-economic development and pave the way for further exploitation of renewable energy sources in the country.

Located on Highway 1A, the section running through Binh Thanh Commune, the Wind Power Plant 1 is about 300 meters from the coast. This is an arid area usually short in rainfall but abundant in wind.

Once the installation of the five first wind turbines is complete, the investor, Vietnam Renewable Energy (REVN), will have seven others installed. The entire project is expected to produce a total capacity of 18 mega watts in the first phase.

Every wind turbine weighs 78 tons, are built on towers 85 meters in height with three 37.5 – meter long blades. The average capacity of each turbine is 1.5 mega watts.

All the technology and equipment are imported from Germany. According to the chairman of Tuy Phong District, Han Dac Thuan, the investment for the first phase is estimated to exceed VND817 billion. In the second and third phases, the wind farm will be expanded to accommodate a further 80 turbines. The project is planned to be completed in 2011 and cost over VND2 trillion once finished.

A lever for boosting regional economic development

Although covering a large area of land, the project in the commune, according to Mr Thuan, is built mostly on deserted land. “It doesn’t occupy any fertile agricultural land at all, but provides jobs and services to local people,” he said.

Mr Thuan cited an example that of all 1,500 hectares of land reserved for wind energy projects in the region, the Wind Power Plant 1 occupies just 150 hectares. Only 20 percent of the used land is located on agricultural land, which has been left unused for years because nothing can grow on it.

The project initially raised public concern about noise pollution, but Mr Thuan said, “Modern technology helps produce modern large turbines with low sound at ground level. Standing next to a large turbine turning in a strong breeze, the sound you will hear is not much louder than the wind blowing in the trees. Even at a wind farm consisting of dozens of turbines, the audible noise level is usually much less than that of roadway traffic.”

Mr Thuan emphasized that the project, if exploited appropriately, will not only supply another useful form of energy to the country, but also help boost the regional socio-economic development.

He pointed out that once the wind farm is complete, dozens of wind farms under project 2 will be built to supply more power to the region. Thanks to an adequate source of power supply, the region will then be able to develop its tourism industry.

According to Tuy Phong’s socio-economic development plans for the period between 2015 and 2020, Binh Thanh Commune is to extend its area to transform it from a tourism zone into a tourist city, where visitors can come and stay to enjoy the beaches and the landscape in the region.

At present in Binh Thuan Province, 10 investors are investing in 12 wind farms with a total capacity of over 2,000 mega watts.

Second wind power

project planned to ease electricity shortage

A wind power plant will be built in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat to help meet Vietnam’s ever-growing demand for electricity, the Lam Dong Province People’s Committee announced.

Lam Dong Provincial authorities have given permission to Cavico Transportation, a subsidiary of Vietnamese infrastructure development company Cavico Corp., to begin building a wind farm in Da Lat City’s Xuan Truong Commune in 2010.

Vietnam’s second wind farm, estimated to cost US$57 million, is expected to produce 90 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

“This is the first wind farm project in the central western region of Vietnam,” Cavico Executive Director Hung Manh Tran said. “This environmentally-friendly project will help solve the nation’s electricity shortage problem.”

Vietnam’s first wind farm is a $20 million plant on Con Dao Island in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Built by Switzerland’s Aerogie Group, it is expected to become operational in 2010.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates demand for electricity in Vietnam’s is growing by 16 percent each year.

The wind farm, located in an area of 1,500 hectares in Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan Province, will connect to the national power grid with an initial capacity of 7.5 megawatts (MW) a day by the end of June, the province’s Department of Trade and Industry announced.

Vietnam Renewable Energy, the project investor, has finished building the first wind turbine and has stepped up installation of the next four, said its deputy director, Dinh Duy Hiep.

The first stage of the wind power project, at a cost of VND996 billion (US$54.3 million), is to be completed by the end of this year and have a capacity of 30 MW a day with 20 wind turbines.

The capacity will eventually rise to 120 MW with 80 turbines.

Private firm weighs wind energy plant for Con Dao

The domestic trading and real estate company Sy Cat has submitted a plan to Ba Ria-Vung Tau province’s authorities to build a wind energy plant worth some US$26 million on Con Dao island off the southern coastal province, in line with the province’s plan to turn Con Dao into an eco-tourism island.

Therefore, the department has sent a statement to the provincial government requesting approval for the wind energy plant on the island, 180km offshore Vung Tau City.

Under the investor’s plan, the wind energy plant will be built on 45 hectares encompassing Nhat beach and Da Trang beach.

Development in the first phase will take three years, and the plant will have a designed generation capacity of 10MW. When the demand rises and upon approval from authorities, the investor will build more facilities to double the generation capacity to some 20MW.

The private investor estimates the cost at VND445 billion, or US$26 million, and it seeks to operate the wind energy plant in 30 years.

The power will be sold to the island district at a price of 16.5 US cents a kilowatt in the first 10 years of operation, down to 15.7 cents for the next 15 years and 13.2 cents from the 25th year.

The project, if licensed, will be the second wind power plant on the island. Last year, Aerogie.plus Vietnam, a subsidiary of Swiss energy firm Aerogie.plus Solutions AG, received a license to develop the first wind power station in Con Dao, touted as a solution to protect the environment, reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and promote eco-tourism.

Hoang Nghia Doan, party secretary of Con Dao Island, had told the Daily on an occasion that wind power projects, including wind towers, should be designed in harmony with the natural landscape and contribute to the preservation of the environment and historic venues on the island.

The island district has only four diesel-fueled generators with a combined capacity of 3MW, which is far behind demand of electricity for daily activities of islanders and fish processing facilities.

As the cost for running diesel-fuelled generators is high, the annual budget used to offset losses from such operations amounts to some VND10 billion.

Con Dao Island is in fact an archipelago of 16 small islets with a total area of more than 7,670 hectares, and is some 45 minutes’ flight from HCMC. Con Lon is the largest island where there are currently four hotels and resorts.

The island is considered as one of the most attractive destinations in Vietnam owing to its long and tranquil beaches, good natural landscapes and historical relics.

Con Dao will have 50,000 residents by 2020, up 10 times compared to the current population, while the number of travelers to the islands is expected to reach 500,000 to 700,000 per year by then.

Cavico Gets Approval to Build Wind Farm in Vietnam

Cavico Corp., an infrastructure development company in Vietnam, today that Cavico Transportation, its wholly owned subsidiary, has officially received permission from Lam Dong province’s People Committee of the location to build a wind farm in this province.

In October of 2008 Cavico received approval from the officials of Lam Dong province to study and evaluate different areas in the province for possible wind farms. The province will use the results of these studies as part of its windpower planning.

For its contribution to the studies, Cavico is given a priority to invest and participate in windpower projects in the province according to its financial capability. For a few years Cavico’s management team has researched and identified a few potential sites for wind farm development along the country. And it has been found that the coastal areas of southern and south-central Vietnam, where the proposed site is located, show exceptional promise for wind energy.

In this first phase, Cavico is studying the construction of a 30 megawatt (MW) wind farm, which will connect to the national grid upon completion. The feasibility study at the site is expected to be completed over a period of one year and will involve collection of wind data and detailed analysis to determine the scope and size of the wind turbines. Prior to the completion of the study, Cavico plans to begin construction of connecting roads and other site preparations.

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Vietnam’s demand for electricity is growing at a rate of 16% each year. The growth and development of Vietnam is dependent on its ability to keep up with the growing energy demand. Cavico’s strategic decision to enter into wind energy projects has therefore received encouragement from the Vietnamese government.

“We are very pleased to announce our entry into the wind energy market. We believe it is the best time to enter this market because the Vietnamese government encourages investment and construction of clean energy projects and also considers providing special assistance and incentives on similar projects. Vietnam has more than 2,025 miles of coastline, which is very promising for wind energy development,” commented Mr. Hung Manh Tran, executive vice president of Cavico. “This is the first wind farm project in the central western region of Vietnam. This environment-friendly project will be a great contribution in addressing the electricity shortage problems faced by Vietnam,” Mr. Tran added.

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