Thai energy giants hope to plug into national power grid

Thai energy giants hope to plug into national power grid - 

Two Thai firms, Ratch Co., Ltd and Country Group Holdings, are seeking investment opportunities to fill  gaps in power projects in Vietnam.

Ratch Co., Ltd (Ratch) revealed investment plans for Vietnam’s Haiphong 3 thermal power project in last week’s meeting with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Located in the northern port of Haiphong, Haiphong 3 thermal power is backed by Vietnam’s state-run mining group Vinacomin, the country’s third largest power investor. The plant has a total capacity of 600 megawatts and is expected to make a significant contribution to the electricity supply for the northern provinces.

MoIT Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong commented that Ratch should discuss investments directly with Vinacomin, as well as suggesting that the company choose other projects in Vietnam’s power development master plan for the 2011-2020 period, with a vision to 2030, such as joining with Thailand’s EGATi to invest in the proposed Quang Tri thermal power station in the central province.

After receiving government approval in August 2013, a memorandum of understanding for the 1,200MW coal-fired power plant was drawn up, classifying the $2.26 billion Quang Tri energy project as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) venture which is expected to come online in 2021. The proposal’s initial construction, currently slated for 2017, will depend heavily on the upcoming negotiation process.

Deputy director of the Quang Tri Department of Industry and Trade Ho Hiep Nghia told VIR that the Quang Tri thermal power project had completed its pre-feasibility study, after which it could begin its BOT contract negotiations. This next step is a tricky process that often causes headaches for energy projects, resulting in construction delays.

Vuong also suggested that Ratch could take part in the government-directed equitisation of state-run Electricity of Vietnam’s Power Generation Corporation (Genco) and its subsidiaries (Genco 1, Genco 2, and Genco 3). The three Gencos began operations in 2013 and are not on the list of corporations in which the state is required to hold a controlling stake.

In the same week, Thailand’s Country Group Holdings, which provides securities brokerage, trading, and underwriting as well as investment advice, showed interest in the renewable energy sector in Vietnam.

Vuong said that in recent years the Vietnamese government has been calling for investment into renewable energy projects after realising the limited potential of traditional fossil fuel power sources, such as coal and crude oil. Severe nationwide electricity shortages have been harmful for the nation.

According to Vietnam’s power development master plan for the 2011-2020 period, with a vision to 2030, Vietnam intends to raise the proportion of renewable energy to 6 per cent of the total power supply by 2030, up from 3.5 per cent in 2010.

Source: VIR

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