Vietnam is keen to explore collaborative partnerships with Australian businesses as it focuses on ensuring energy supply and security to support its economic expansion.
Recent policy reforms implemented by the Vietnamese Government to liberalise the sector and attract investment has led to opportunities in the power generation sector, and Australia is well placed to assist.
Janelle Casey, Austrade’s Hanoi-based Trade Commissioner, said an Australian Energy Mission to Vietnam, held last May, provided a unique platform for Australian delegates to hear about developments first-hand and share their experiences and technologies with their Vietnamese counterparts.
“Vietnam has been transitioning from an energy exporter to an energy importer to meet rising energy consumption and is seeking assistance to implement various solutions,” said Ms Casey.
“The country has also been developing mechanisms and policies to move from fossil fuel consumption to clean energy and renewable energy consumption.
“The Australian Energy Mission to Vietnam – which included a delegation of 16 businesses, federal and state governments and regulatory bodies – helped showcase Australian capabilities across the coal supply chain; energy infrastructure services; mining, equipment and technology services; and power services.”
The mission also included an energy forum which brought together nearly 180 participants from government agencies, local and international investors and businesses across the coal, gas and power sectors in Vietnam.
The forum facilitated panel discussions on hot topics including major energy infrastructure projects, coal supply capability, thermal power plants, and private sector participation in the market.
Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the state-owned enterprise, added more than 3,400 MW of capacity from new coal-fired power plants in 2015, with the power plants consuming nearly 10 million tonnes of coal per year.
Ms Casey said to meet growing energy demand, the Vietnamese Government is now calling for investment from independent power producers (IPPs) to build more thermal power plants in accordance with its revised Power Development Plan (PMP) VII 2016.
The planned construction of the power plants – which will use modern and clean coal-fired High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) generation technology – offers a wide range of opportunities for equipment manufacturers, energy and engineering consulting companies.
Opportunities for professional consulting firms
“In the transmission and distribution segments, technologies and solutions that optimise operation, reduce cost and energy loss, and increase productivity are also of high interest to the market,” said Ms Casey.
“The development strategies of power corporations in big cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City also call for smart grid technology and solutions for undergrounding electricity cables. While the Vietnamese Government’s vision to create a competitive electricity market provides opportunities for professional consulting firms,” she added.
Mr Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director General, Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam, Ministry of Industry and Trade, said: “Australia’s strengths in the energy sector – such as good capacity in producing and exporting low emissions coal, LNG with complete and advanced solutions for coal and gas supply chain and experience in designing, developing and regulating the energy markets, especially the power market – are in line with the needs of Vietnam in ensuring the energy security, as well as protecting the environment.”
“The potential for expanding the two countries’ cooperation in the energy sector is very positive,” he added.