US firm gets nod for $5 bln power plant in Vietnam

By Anh Minh   October 4, 2019 | 07:40 pm PT
US firm gets nod for $5 bln power plant in Vietnam
Gas tanks at a gas processing plant in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of PV Gas.
Vietnam has given U.S. firm AES the go ahead to build a $5 billion liquefied natural gas power plant in central Binh Thuan Province.

American power distributor AES Corporation will build the 2.2 GW combined cycle gas turbine Son My 2 plant under a 20-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract with the government. The plant is expected to begin commercial operations in 2024.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the plant will use $2 billion worth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year when it comes into operation, helping balance Vietnam’s trade surplus with the U.S.

The Son My 2 plant, along with Son My 1 and Son My 3 power plants, are part of a 4,000MW power complex planned in the central province. Son My 2 is expected to consume 0.6 million tons of LNG annually.

In Vietnam, AES has invested in developing the 1,240 MW Mong Duong 2 Thermal Power Plant in the northern province of Quang Ninh, which began operations in April 2015.

Last month, Binh Thuan had approved an investment by Vietnam-focused development and asset management company Energy Capital Vietnam into another LNG power project worth over $5 billion. The 3,200 MW project, which will also use LNG from the U.S.,  is expected to be completed in 2025.

Power generated from natural gas will reach 9,000 MW by 2020, and 19,000MW by 2030, according to the Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 

The department also predicts that gas-fuelled power will account for about 14 percent of Vietnam’s total energy generation by 2030, and will use up to 22 billion cubic meters of LNG per year, half of which will be imported from the U.S.

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