Irish firm to build Vietnam wind farms

2016-11-08 15:47
The Topas Ecolodge on a hill on the outskirts of northern Sapa tourist town in the Tonkinese Alps. (Hoang Dinh Nam, AFP)

The Topas Ecolodge on a hill on the outskirts of northern Sapa tourist town in the Tonkinese Alps. (Hoang Dinh Nam, AFP)

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Hanoi - An Irish energy firm on Monday signed a $2.2 billion deal to build and operate three wind farms in Vietnam, as the coal-hungry communist nation turns to renewable sources to combat climate change.

Rapidly industrialising Vietnam, which officially ratified the Paris climate pact last week, is also looking to boost energy production to meet mounting demand as its economy and population continue to expand.

The deal was announced during a visit to Vietnam by Ireland's President Michael D Higgins as the two countries seek to strengthen ties.

The company behind the deal, Mainstream Renewable Power, said the three wind farms will have a combined total capacity of 940 MW.

"In terms of energy needs and requirements, Vietnam is one of the fastest growing markets in Southeast Asia," Chief Operating Officer Andy Kinsella said in a statement.

"Investing in Vietnam is very much aligned with our aim of developing large-scale renewable energy projects in high-growth economies with significant demand for new-build power generation."

The 800 MW Phu Cuong wind farm, worth about $2 billion, will be developed in southern Soc Trang province, with the first phase set to be completed in 2018.

The two other wind farms in Binh Thuan province, which will receive $200 million, will also see the first phase close in late 2018.

Vietnam mainly relies on coal and hydro-power and is seeking to boost renewable energy production from a target of seven percent in 2020 to more than 10% by 2030.

Higgins arrived in Vietnam at the weekend and will visit several cities, including Hanoi and the southern business hub of Ho Chi Minh City, before he departs on Monday.

Read more on:    ireland  |  vietnam  |  renewable energy

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