Vietnam mulls undersea power line to develop renewable energy

By Viet Tuan   December 3, 2023 | 11:19 pm PT
Vietnam mulls undersea power line to develop renewable energy
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) with Robert Helms (left), partner at Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and Ian Hatton (middle), founder of Enterprize Energy, on Dec. 3 2023. Photo by Nhat Bac
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has tasked state energy firm Petrovietnam with laying underwater power transmission lines and developing offshore wind power.

Speaking on Sunday with Robert Helms, partner at Danish renewable energy investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), and Ian Hatton, founder of British energy company Enterprize Energy (EE), on the sidelines of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, he said underwater transmission lines are a "new concept for Vietnam."

Vietnam would assess the offshore wind energy capacity before deciding on an appropriate transmission system, he said.

He thanked the two firms for their interest in Vietnam’s wind energy industry, which could help it meet its 2050 zero-emissions goal.

"The more important factors are prices and the power transmission system specifications."

Energy prices are different in developed and developing countries, and so the prices need to benefit both sides, he said.

He wanted the two companies to come up with a comprehensive plan for developing offshore wind energy in Vietnam, which could potentially be 600 GW.

"Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, which is advantageous for developing renewable energy."

It has signed a $200-million contract with Vietnan and is expected to sign another for $350 million, Helms said.

Hatton said in Vietnam EE had partnered with French financial services company Societe Generale, Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and British construction engineering firm ODE to develop the Thang Long offshore wind power project in Binh Thuan.

TLW is expected to cost $11.9 billion and have a capacity of 3,400MW, while TWL2 will cost $5 billion and have a capacity of 2,000 MW.

According to Hatton, EE will prioritize completing the two by 2029.

Since it set the goal in 2021 Vietnam has been taking various measures to achieve net zero emissions, one of which is developing renewable energy.

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