Sunseap begins construction of ASEAN's largest solar farm
Sunseap International, a unit of Singapore's leading clean energy provider Sunseap Group, begins construction of its US$150 million solar farm in Vietnam at a groundbreaking ceremony today.
The ceremony for Vietnam's largest solar farm to-date was held at the 186 hectares site in Ninh Thuan province on Vietnam's south-central coast.
It was attended by H.E. Truong Vinh Trong, former Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Tong Quoc Dat, Chief of Office of Vietnam's Ministry of Planning and Investment, Mr Nguyen Duc Thanh, Secretary of Ninh Thuan Party Committee, Mr Pham Van Hau, Vice Chairman of Ninh Thuan People's Committee and Ms Leow Siu Lin, Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore in Ho Chi Minh City. Representatives from Vietnam's Ministry of Industrial and Trade, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Police, as well as from Enterprise Singapore, a statutory board under Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry, also attended the event.
Sunseap's 168 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar farm is also the largest solar collaboration between Singapore and Vietnam and the first solar project in Vietnam led by a Singaporean company. The farm is expected to reach commercial operation by June 2019 and once completed, will generate enough electricity to power up to 200,000 households in Vietnam and create permanent jobs for over 200 local workers.
Sunseap, together with its joint-venture partners InfraCo Asia, an infrastructure development and investment company of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and CMX Renewable Energy Canada Inc., a solar developer based in Canada, will be allowed to sell solar power generated by its solar farm to Vietnam's national grid at the mandated solar feed-in tariff of 9.35 US cents/kilowatt hour for the next 20 years, provided they complete the delivery of clean energy to the grid by June 2019.
Mr Frank Phuan, Co-Founder and Director of Sunseap, said: "We are excited to reach another important milestone in this solar project for Vietnam and for Sunseap. It is testament to the government's commitment to promoting renewable energy and to supporting foreign investments in this sector.
"For Sunseap, this marks a significant step in our efforts to bring affordable, reliable and clean energy to beyond Singapore. As our name implies, we want the sun to be a major contributor to a sustainable future for Southeast Asia and the Pacific region."
Mr Pham Van Hau, Vice Chairman of Ninh Thuan People's Committee, said: "Within eight months of receiving the decision on investment policy, the investor has showed great efforts to acquire all relevant permits and meet all the necessary conditions so that today, this 168 megawatt-peak solar power plant can officially break ground.
"The groundbreaking ceremony of CMX RE Sunseap's solar farm today is not only a happy day for the company and the people in My Son Commune, but also a happy day of everybody in Ninh Thuan, who are expecting this project to be a breakthrough for the socio-economic development of Ninh Son district, making Ninh Thuan the renewable energy centre of Vietnam.
"With the support of local authorities and the community, I believe this project will be implemented smoothly and be commercially operational on time."
Enterprise Singapore, the Singaporean government agency championing enterprise development, supported Sunseap in developing its new technologies and helped built its manpower capabilities in its expansion into Southeast Asia. Enterprise Singapore supported Sunseap in connecting the company with industry stakeholders, including local and international financiers.
Mr Tan Soon Kim, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore, said: "We have seen traction in renewable energy projects in Vietnam, particularly in the solar energy sector.
We hope to partner more companies to tap these growing opportunities in the market. The recent Memorandum of Understanding we have signed with Vietnam Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority aims to bring in more potential downstream opportunities for Singapore companies."
Sunseap is one of the largest and most established players in the solar energy industry in the region. It has a pipeline of projects in Cambodia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia.