Ayala unit jump-starts goal of building 300-MW solar farm in Vietnam
Ayala group unit AC Energy yesterday said it has broken ground for a 30-megawatt (MW) solar power joint-venture in Vietnam with local partner BIM Group.
AC Energy said in a statement the project was the initial phase of an effort toward developing “over 300 MW” of solar photovoltaic systems in Ninh Thuan province.
Being built by Singapore-based Conergy Asia & ME Ltd. and slated for completion within this year, the first phase alone was priced at 800 billion Vietnamese dong or about P1.8 billion.
“AC Energy is very keen to participate in the fast-growing Vietnam power sector, with pioneering investments in renewable energy,” AC Energy chief executive Eric Francia said.
“We are delighted to partner with BIM group, which has a significant presence in Ninh Thuan province, which in turn has among the best solar irradiance in (that) country,” Francia said.
A diversified business, BIM Group is also engaged in tourism development and real estate, agriculture and food and commercial services.
In a separate statement, Conergy said construction would start in April with the intention of going online by December.
Conergy chief operating officer Marc Lohoff said the Ninh Thuan project added to the company’s string of large solar projects within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This is its first project in Vietnam.
According to Conergy, the Ninh Thuan solar farm was expected to generate 50,464 megawatt-hours of clean electricity yearly, and would help avoid the emission of 21,629 tons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.
Conergy has already been engaged by AC Energy to build a number of solar farms in the Philippines. The Ayala subsidiary is also planning more projects with Conergy in other parts of the Asean region.
“The development of solar energy in the country is very encouraging and it’s exciting to consider the potential impact solar investors can make in Vietnam,” said Hendrik Bohne, vice president of Conergy EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Conergy noted that with Vietnam’s economic strength and emergence as a manufacturing hub, the demand for greater power and energy resources could more than double by 2025.
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