VIR’s Bich Ngoc talks with Alstom Thermal Power president Philippe Cochet and EVN president Pham Le Thanh about the importance and necessity of Vietnam and Asia’s first-ever workshop of its type.
Currently in Vietnam, exhaust heat and energy shortages are top issues which strongly affect people’s lives. Through the event, we can see that by establishing this joint venture and signing the MOU, both parties can bring some solutions to address these challenges. What benefits will these projects bring Vietnam?
I would like to offer a broader picture on this issue. First of all, if you look at Alstom and our 20 year history in Vietnam, you can see that we are the only provider of equipment in the world which covers a broad portfolio products. Alstom is not only providing gas turbines, but also steam power plants and hydropower.
A typical example of our success is that we were two years ahead of schedule for the construction of the Son La power plant. Apart from that, we are also involved in nuclear power. Last but not least, we are producing other renewable energy like wind and solar. Alstom is also the global leader in Air Quality Control Systems (AQCS), to ensure that we use all means to reduce emissions and its impact to the environment.
Going back to what the joint venture and MOU, I want to say the joint venture can quickly solve rising technical problems as the turbines can be maintained and improved right in Vietnam, instead of abroad as previously. Moreover, this is a high-tech joint venture so it will train advanced technologies to Vietnamese engineers and workers.
This is Alstom’s first workshop in Vietnam and Asia, so is there demand for such a workshop in Vietnam?
First of all, the workshop is necessary for the two combined power plants Phu My 2.1 and 2.4. It will also be one of the most modern workshops in the world for reconditioning and we will use it for meeting all requirements from our Asian customers.
What are the main fields which Alstom will focus on in Vietnam and what advantages can Alstom apply to its projects in Vietnam?
Alstom is operating in a range of all fields. I think Alstom has many advantages. First of all, Alstom can easily provide all many technologies to Vietnam. Again I believe Vietnam needs hydro, gas, steam coal and nuclear, and we are presenting all these technologies. Secondly we have been in Vietnam for 20 years so we have strong understanding of the country and good relationship with Vietnamese enterprises especially EVN and we have an ability to work in Vietnam.
Thirdly, we have a workshop here so we can quickly react to any rising problem with local workers trained by Alstom.
Please explain the past cooperation between Alstom and EVN?
Alstom is one of the world's leading groups in the fields of energy and rail infrastructure. Alstom started cooperation with EVN in 1993 when the company provided equipment for the Vinh Son hydropower plant. So far, Alstom has become one of EVN’s most important partners in developing power plant projects in Vietnam.
Alstom has provided scores of equipment such as mechanical equipment, measuring and controlling devices for EVN’s 16 coal, gas and hydro plant projects. Typical of these were the Son La hydro power plant, Quang Ninh 1 and 2 thermal power plants, Phu My 2.1gas turbine combined cycle power plant and many others.
Alstom also has maintained and reconditioned gas turbines for the Phu My Thermal Power Company. The signing ceremony between EVN and Alstom is one of typical activities to prove the long-term commitment between us.
This is the first ever reconditioning workshop in Vietnam and in Asia. What is its importance and meaning?
A gas turbine combined cycle is high power generation technology and is complicated to recondition these turbines. It requires a high-tech approach, takes time and is expensive. The workshop will address these issues and the establishment of the Alstom-Phu My Thermal Power Services Joint Venture will open new opportunities for maintenance, improvements of the gas turbine combined cycle in other countries.
With the joint venture set up and the memorandum of understanding signed, what benefits does EVN expect?
We expect to save more than €18 million in the first 15 years to recondition spare gas turbine parts for the Phu My power plant. Moreover it will also benefit from reconditioning contracts for other turbines in Vietnam and other countries in Asia-Pacific. Especially the joint venture will improve advanced labour and high technologies in Vietnam.
What is EVN’s future power generation development strategy?
In our strategy to develop the power sector during 2011-2015 and vision to 2020, we aim to develop the sector based in applying advanced technologies, to increase efficiency and quality of the power supply, as well as safely use natural resource and materials in power manufacturing.
In thermal power we will use large capacity generations, research and use fresh coal technologies, such as super critical and ultra super critical. We will also study and use LPG for power plants and develop nuclear power with modern, but safe technology. In hydropower we will mobilise water resources from reservoirs, apply new technologies on materials and hydropower dam construction and build multi-functional power plants to harmonise capacity in the power system.