JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Vietnam set to buy Laos’ wind power

Vietnam set to buy Laos’ wind power

Tuesday, March 05, 2024, 11:33 GMT+7
Vietnam set to buy Laos’ wind power
This photo depicts transmission lines from Nam Mo to Tuong Duong in Nghe An Province, illustrating the current challenges in importing power from Laos to Vietnam. Photo: X. Tien / Tuoi Tre

In a report submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, state utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) outlined a plan to import wind power from Laos, with a focus on utilizing the central province of Quang Tri as the entry point.

Various wind power suppliers in Laos have expressed interest in selling electricity to Vietnam through the inter-regional electric transmission network.

Providers of power sold through the transmission line in Quang Tri alone boast a capacity exceeding 4,000MW, far surpassing Vietnam’s current ability to accommodate wind power releases.

Offer to sell over 4,100MW

Among the various suppliers, Vinacom Viet Nam Investment Trading Joint Stock Company stands out, having initiated the Savan 1 wind power project in Savannakhet, a province in southern Laos, that is designed to be able to churn out 495MW.

Vinacom has persistently proposed this project to EVN, foreseeing its potential to cater to the energy demands of northern Vietnam upon its operationalization by the end of 2025.

With a release capacity of up to 300MW through the Lao Bao 220kV substation in Quang Tri, Vinacom aims to ensure the timely operation of Savan 1, promising to supply power to northern Vietnam once operational.

Despite the delayed operation of the Huong Hoa 500kV substation in the same province, the company remains committed to maintaining its viable production of 300MW until its full operation, after which it plans to turn out a maximum of 495MW.

In its report to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, EVN endorsed Vinacom's proposal, along with suggestions from other renewable energy investors in Laos.

Projects like Savan 1 and Savan 2, with a combined capability of 990MW, are already contracted to supply power to the Laos government.

Pending approval from the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, Savan 1 is poised to commence operations in 2025 and supply electricity to Vietnam.

Plans are underway to connect additional projects in Savannakhet and Salavan, another province in southern Laos, totaling 2x756MW, to the Huong Hoa 500kV substation.

The AMI Savannakhet project, with a capacity of 187.2MW, is slated to connect directly to the Huong Hoa 500kV substation, with the investor responsible for constructing the necessary power grid infrastructure.

Similarly, the RT Savannakhet V1 project (880MW) and Saravane ARL1 project (380MW) are set to connect to a 500kV substation in Laos, with subsequent connections to the Huong Hoa 500kV substation via electric circuits.

The completion of the entire network of electric lines from Laos to Vietnam is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2025.

EVN has also received suggestions from ASEAN Corporation, based in Hanoi, regarding the connection of wind power projects from Laos to Vietnam, able to produce 1,000MW, spread across different regions.

As of October 2023, EVN reported that 4,149MW of wind power had been earmarked for transmission from Laos through Quang Tri.

But the ability to import power through Quang Tri significantly depends on the advancement of power grid projects.

EVN estimates that with the completion of the Huong Hoa 500kV substation and connection electric lines by the end of 2027, the central region's capacity to receive and release power will reach around 2,500MW.

Until that time, only 200MW-300MW of power can be received from Laos during the dry season months between February and September.

The existing total capacities of wind power available for connection to Quang Tri already surpass the capability of the central region's power grid, particularly in the absence of the Huong Hoa 500kV substation and related power lines.

Concerns over renewable energy purchase

According to EVN, the timely development of new power sources outlined in the Power Development Plan (PDP VIII) for the 2021-30 period, with a vision to 2050, is crucial for meeting the energy demands of the central and southern regions of Vietnam.

Yet, providing power to the northern region from 2024 to 2030 presents notable challenges, including the threat of power shortages toward the end of the dry season, annually from May to July, and a potential shortfall in 2025.

The increased import of power from Laos is seen as a solution to enhance the region's ability to meet load demand and mitigate the risk of power shortages in the coming years.

Under the prime minister's mandate, there is a price ceiling of 6.95 cents/kWh for importing power from Laos to Vietnam, specifically applicable to wind power plants that commence commercial operations before December 31, 2025.

Post-2025, relevant authorities will determine the pricing of power.

The timing of commercial operations for the mentioned power plants, all expected to be operational by 2025 or later, presents challenges for EVN in negotiating prices with the power plants.

What is more, technical and commercial issues further complicate these negotiations.

Mai Duy Thien, chairman of the Vietnam Clean Energy Association, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that purchasing power from Laos not only serves economic interests but also strengthens the friendly relations between the two countries.

Feedback from the Ministry of Industry and Trade

In response to proposals submitted by EVN, the Ministry of Industry and Trade emphasized that the capability to import wind power from Laos via Quang Tri would be restricted to a maximum of 300MW during the dry season until the Lao Bao 500kV substation comes on stream.

The ministry noted that the combined capacity of the Savan 1 and AMI Savannakhet projects slated to sell power to Vietnam in 2025 exceeds that of the central region's electric transmission grid.

Consequently, the ministry suggested that investors update their information regarding power sources and the region's power grid status until the phase ending by December 31, 2025.

This will enable a detailed review of project schedules and the quality of connected transmission lines, ensuring the feasibility of the proposals.

Moreover, the ministry stressed the importance of EVN proposing power import projects with appropriate scales to ensure the normal operation of the region's power grid.

This requirement underscores the need for careful planning and coordination to avoid overloading the grid and maintaining a reliable energy supply.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Kim Thoa - Ngoc An / Tuoi Tre News


Read more




‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Latest news