AC Energy Corp expands footprint in Vietnam’s renewable energy space

Construction News Vietnam
Wind turbines in the province of Bac Lieu, southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyet Nhi.

AC Energy Corp expands footprint in Vietnam’s renewable energy space

AC Energy Corp. (Acen) is firming up its presence in Vietnam, investing along with its partners a total of $445 million in 440 megawatts of wind farms that are expected to be operational within this year.

These include a 40-MW expansion of the Mui Ne wind farm, which will double the capacity of this joint venture with Singapore-based The Blue Circle. Mui Ne has a potential to be expanded to a total of 170 MW.

Also, two wind farms with a combined capacity of 60 MW are being developed in partnership with UPC Renewables.

Foundation works have been completed for the 252-MW Quang Binh wind farm, seen to be Vietnam’s largest onshore wind farm once completed.

Similarly, the foundation has been set at the 88-MW Ninh Thuan wind farm, also a partnership with the BIM Group.

The Ayala group’s power generation platform said Vietnam was its largest market outside the Philippines.

Over the past four years, Acen has taken steps to be a major player in Vietnam’s renewables market, where growth has been so robust to be unscathed by the pandemic.

This was attributed partly to an attractive tariff system, such as the feed-in tariff—an incentive to entice investments in renewable energy—for wind power that Hanoi implemented in 2018, just as similar come-ons were dropped in the Philippines.

Back then, the Department of Energy said the government was no longer favoring any type of power-generation technology and that project operators should prove themselves in the market instead of relying on incentives.

“Vietnam is an ideal place for sustainable investments as it leads the race to clean energy transition in the post-COVID world,” AC Energy president and chief executive Eric Francia said in a statement.

“Our partners’ deep market expertise bolster our leadership position in Vietnam as we aim to play a meaningful role in the green-led recovery by building climate resilience and creating jobs,” Francia said.

He said that, considering their progress in Vietnam, the company was well-poised and on track to be one of the largest listed renewables platforms in Southeast Asia.

The company has a goal of racking up a total of 5,000 MW of renewables capacity by 2025. Acen expects to hit half of that within this year.

So far, Acen engagements in Vietnam totals at close to 1,000 MW of solar and wind power—of which 525 MW is already operational and 440 MW under construction. In terms of interest in these projects or attributable capacity, Acen has 637 MW under its belt.

Acen entered the market with the 405-MW Ninh Thuan solar farm. This went online in 2019 and recently reached 1 billion kilowatt-hours of output.

There are also the 80-MW Khanh Hoa and Dak Lak solar farms, developed in partnership with AMI Renewables, also having gone online in 2019. INQ