The necessity for a solid legal framework and support mechanisms to develop offshore wind power

17:00 | 17/02/2022 Society

(VEN) - Stuart Livesey, Country Director of Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP) in Vietnam (the developer of the 3.5GW La Gan Offshore Wind Project in Binh Thuan Province) talked with Vietnam Economic News’ Bui Huyen about La Gan Project's development orientation towards the goal of sustainable energy development in Vietnam.

the necessity for a solid legal framework and support mechanisms to develop offshore wind power
Stuart Livesey, Country Director of Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP) in Vietnam

The La Gan Project submitted its pre-feasibility study and received a recommendation from the PPC in Binh Thuan to make the project part of the 2021-2030 National Power Development Plan VIII with a vision to 2050 (PDP8). What do you expect when the PDP8 is approved?

We see that Vietnam is a market that has the largest offshore wind potential in ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and Copenhagen Offshore Partners are committed to accompanying the government in providing sustainable green energy solutions for Vietnam. With this goal, along with support from the government and partners, we have initiated a development plan for the La Gan offshore wind power project (the La Gan Project) professionally, methodically, and strictly through the establishment of La Gan Wind Power Development Company in Binh Thuan Province, with a key focus on keeping stakeholders informed and updated, and setting a strong example for the offshore industry in Vietnam. At this moment in time, the project has submitted its pre-feasibility study and received recommendation from the PPC in Binh Thuan to be included in the National Power Development Plan VIII for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050 (PDP8).

Additionally, we have gone further to work with suppliers and secured several MoUs with local Vietnamese companies (such as Asia ECC, CSWind, PTSC M&C, Vietso Petro etc.), and have engaged with multiple other industries. The project has also submitted an application for our Survey License of the La Gan area, and we are keen and ready to progress these surveys once this is approved.

When Vietnam releases PDP VIII, which will act as a catalyst for its OFW journey, we are very keen to share our knowledge from across different areas in Europe, the rest of Asia, and the US to try to make sure that Vietnam can progress in a very structured and stable way and avoid the mistakes or delays from elsewhere. Working together as an industry alongside the government is the best way to deliver this.

From the recently held 4th Summit of the Vietnam Energy Partnership Group (VEPG), what do you think about the contributions from the conference with regards to supporting the development of the renewable energy sector?

It has been a great discussion at the 4th High Level VPEG meeting on January 24, and I'm extremely reassured to see that Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An on behalf of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in addition to other co-chairs within VEPG, are actively looking to engage more with developers, investors, academic institutes and other organizations. It is an extremely commendable approach to look towards more groups to obtain more relevant and abundant information, to help inform strategies and decision.

I am very supportive of the idea for the “the technical working groups”, and I think it gives the government a lot more opportunities to source more detailed information and opinions not just from the developers like ourselves but from other specialists across the industry across the world. This in turn can help inform strategies and processes that are established. I personally really like the goals established by the VEPG and look forward to seeing how it progresses this year.

the necessity for a solid legal framework and support mechanisms to develop offshore wind power

What is La Gan Project's development orientation towards the goal of sustainable energy development in Vietnam?

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), as the lead developer on La Gan offshore wind project, to which Copenhagen Offshore Partners (COP) manages the development in Vietnam, is committed to focusing mainly on renewable energy generation and associated energy infrastructure, to deliver sustainable energy generation in Vietnam and globally.

We would like to continue the interactive discussions we have had with the government agencies so far to provide support as they create the foundations for the offshore wind farm industry. It’s extremely encouraging to see that the Vietnamese agencies and government ministries and departments engage openly with developers and other groups to seek information on what is going well outside of Vietnam with offshore wind or what has not progressed as well as it should – there are many areas from other markets where valuable lessons should be taken to help Vietnam’s offshore wind ambitions be achieved.

Vietnam has signed up to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN, and the offshore wind industry and the wider renewable energy generation forms can contribute significantly towards achieving many of these goals.

From the enterprise perspective, do you have any recommendations for formation of a sustainable energy industry in Vietnam?

CIP and COP are more than happy to assist the country on its journey to make sure as Vietnam offshore wind journey progresses and to ensure that it is sustainable, it has much relevant information as possible to guide it. Renewable energy can contribute to energy security, provide both direct and indirect revenue and also contribute to global climate challenges, all of which are key for a sustainable future in Vietnam. Therefore, we would like to see a strong framework and some good supporting mechanisms come out for the offshore wind farm industry, this in turn can give investors the reassurances to invest in the industry and progress the La Gan Project and others to reach the ambitious yet achievable and commendable COP26 pledge set out by the Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Therefore, we're really looking forward to seeing the content of a well-structured PDP8 delivered soon to guide the industry, allowing for the first batch of well-considered and supported projects through Feed in Tariffs (FiT), setting a solid foundation for the future offshore wind portfolio in Vietnam as the industry continues to mature.