$2bn Vietnam wind project agreed amid Trump visit

A previously announced deal to build the country’s largest wind farm became official as the US President met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

General Electric, Mainstream Renewable Power and Vietnamese company Phu Cuong Group made official on Wednesday an agreement to develop $2 billion of wind projects in the Southeast Asian country.

The development agreement, first announced last November, was signed as Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with US President Donald Trump in Washington DC during a three-day trip to increase trade between the two countries.

In a formal ceremony, the three parties agreed to develop the 800MW Phu Cuong Wind farm in Vietnam’s southern province of Soc Trang. The developers are planning to build the project in two phases to make the country’s largest wind farm. The first phase of 200MW is expected to reach financial close in 2018.

The development agreement is in support of Vietnam’s goal of producing more than 10 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2030.

GE has a manufacturing plant located in the Vietnamese seaport city of Haiphong and will provide equipment for the project. The deal, one of a number GE agreed to with Vietnam that are valued together at $5.8 billion, will support the development of the country’s energy and aviation sectors.

“This is a significant step forward in terms of taking the first phase of this project into construction next year, and in doing so supporting Vietnam in its aim of delivering one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2020,” Mainstream chief operating officer Andy Kinsella said.

For Mainstream, the agreement marks the emerging market clean energy developer’s first large-scale commitment in Asia, following its work on gigawatt-scale portfolios in South America and Africa.

Last November, the company also launched an investment arm through which it will seek to raise third-party money for its projects in emerging markets. It said at the time it plans to garner $840 million of equity and debt over the next 18 months to fund projects in Chile, South Africa and Vietnam.