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Malaysia-based Timar Wind Solar Energy last week inked an investment cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the firm and Ninh Thuan’s People Committee.
Timar said it would pour $800 million to develop a wind power project in Ninh Thuan with two assembly plants in Vietnam. Timar owns advanced green energy technology, known as Maglev, that has a power generating capacity 20 per cent higher than a traditional turbine, a life span of 50 years and can save more than 50 per cent in operational costs.
However, early this month, Ninh Thuan People’s Committee revoked a Canadian firm’s delayed $74.4 million wind power project after receiving its certificate way back in May, 2007. Greta had planned a 50-year project in the province’s Thuan Bac district, with the project to have become operational in April, 2009.
Greta, like other investors, was turned off by power price incentives for wind foreign and domestic investors as the electricity purchase price at 7.8 cents/kWh is considered too low for a wind power project.
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, a wind energy expert, said such a low price was hard to invite investors to work on wind farms since their initial investment costs were really high.
In Ninh Thuan province, there are nine investors looking to produce 1,000MW of wind power.
Most of these companies, such as Vietnam Renewable Energy and Belgium-based Enfinity have received in principle approval from Ninh Thuan People’s Committee for studying and making investment plans.
In a similar development, Impas Singapore is tapping on the potential of wind power in the province after it got the thumb-up for expanding its feasible study areas from 600 hectares to 1,000ha.
Secretary of Ninh Thuan Provincial Party Committee Nguyen Chi Dung said wind power development had been centered in the province’s socio-economic development strategy, which aimed to turn Ninh Thuan into a green energy and tourism hub of Vietnam.
Home to the country’s first two nuclear power plants with total output of 4,000MW each, Ninh Thuan is also considering new sites for 17 wind farms after its previous 14 ones, approved by the government, succeeded in attracting investors.