Offshore wind to bring opportunities to Binh Thuan Province

By May Pham   October 8, 2021 | 01:00 pm GMT+7
Wind power projects like La Gan Offshore Wind Project have proven to be significant job generators thanks to their long-term, sophisticated supply chain.

Binh Thuan Province is one of the windiest areas in Vietnam that attracts multi-billion-dollar investments in offshore wind projects. In early 2021, World Bank consultant BVG Associates conducted a study about the potential economic benefits of the 3.5 GW La Gan Offshore Wind Project in Binh Thuan, led and developed by Danish renewable energy developer Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

BVG Associates forecast the La Gan project, over its lifetime, could contribute around $4.4 billion to the Vietnamese economy and create more than 45,000 direct jobs. Among the jobs created in different stages, the operations and maintenance (O&M) phase would play a crucial role in creating long-term value for local communities in Binh Thuan. Each year, the La Gan project is forecast to create over 1,000 direct jobs when the wind farm is fully operational.

Offshore wind O&M

As one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources, offshore wind energy could potentially offer not only a clean and reliable energy source to Vietnam but more tangible benefits to local communities, including long-term job creation.

O&M for an offshore wind farm is a complex process that requires different levels of skills and long-term commitments from the wind farm operator. It involves a range of relevant services to ensure asset integrity of critical components like offshore wind turbines, foundations, and the offshore and onshore transmission system. The wind farm operator will be required to establish local offices and an organization to cover project operation, maintenance, and asset management 24/7 for the entire lifetime of the wind farm, which is normally around 25 years.

To manage daily O&M activities, the wind farm operator will typically establish a local O&M base with full office functionality, storage and maintenance, control center, and crew area. The O&M base needs to be close to the wind farm site with access to the quayside to handle daily activities swiftly. The O&M base will handle daily on-site inspections, performance monitoring, corrective and preventive maintenance, marine coordination, HSE (Health – Safety – Environment) management, compliance activities, and government coordination. Typically, the wind farm operator uses a Crew-Transfer-Vessel (CTV) or Service Operation Vessel (SOV) to perform daily works in the offshore site depending on the distance from shore. In certain cases, helicopters are also used to support offshore operations.

Overview of the Crew Transfer Vessel and Service Operation Vessel used in offshore wind farm O&M. Source:

Overview of the offshore wind operation and maintenance activities. Source: A Guide to UK OffshoreWind Operation And Maitenance report.

O&M activities are key to an offshore wind farm's productivity and success. A large-scale offshore wind farm like the La Gan project cannot operate without a large group of resources with relevant skills and experiences and, therefore it makes the most sense for the wind farm operator to utilize local talent as much as possible and share the fruits with local communities.

Offshore wind farm O&M requires a range of skills to cover corporate activities, like office administration, HR, contract management, HSE management, commercial and legal management. In addition, skills are required to cover technical works, like electrical and structural engineering, marine transportation, and software engineering.

Green collar cultivation and training programs

To cultivate local talents with the skills needed in the O&M phase, offshore wind farm developers are motivated to take proactive approaches by encouraging collaboration between local and international academia for industrial classes and initiating programs for Green Collar training among local communities. In addition, workforces in areas like shipbuilding or oil and gas also have a greater chance to adapt their skillsets and experience to offshore wind.

In the long run, the operation and maintenance of an offshore wind farm will bring new opportunities to local businesses and communities in Binh Thuan. A new group of highly skilled local talents for offshore wind O&M will also have the chance to thrive in a global industry for the coming decades.

 
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