Blue Circle gets approval for 40MW Vietnamese wind farm

The $60m project is the first phase of a 100MW facility to be built in the country, where less than 120MW of wind has been installed so far.

The Blue Circle, a Singapore-based renewable energy developer, has received an investment certificate from the Vietnamese authorities for the 40MW Dam Nai project in South Vietnam's Ninh Thuan province.

The developer was granted site exclusivity 16 months ago, with plans to invest up to $200 million in developing a 100MW facility on the site. Total investment for the first phase is expected to reach $60 million. 

The Blue Circle and its Vietnamese partner, TSV Invest, will now aim to sign a long-term lease for the facility as well as a power purchase agreement with EVN, Vietnam's national power utility. 

The certificate confirms that the site is now included in the Energy Development Masterplan of the Ninh Thuan province, with some grid capacity allocated to the project. 

The Blue Circle erected a 100m meteorological mast on the 933-hectare site in May 2015 to measure wind velocity. The site has a potential installed total capacity of between 70MW and 100MW, according to a statement. 

“The approval for 40MW is only the first phase of the total project. With grid connection on site, as well as very good wind speeds, the Dam Nai project has all the attributes to succeed even in a low feed-in-tariff environment,” said Olivier Duguet, chief executive of The Blue Circle. 

Construction of the first phase is scheduled to start in 2017. 

“With less than 120 MW of wind power installed in the country so far, the Dam Nai project will position The Blue Circle as one of Vietnam’s wind energy pioneers, able to significantly contribute to the ambitious target set by the government,” said Gilles Beau, chief development officer for the Singapore developer. 

Vietnam has set a new target of 4,000MW for wind power capacity by 2025, in accordance with the agreement signed at the Paris Climate Conference. If achieved, the programme could make the country the largest market for wind power in Southeast Asia. 

The Blue Circle, backed by Armstrong Asset Management and Ho Chi Minh City-based investment firm TSV Invest, has a portfolio of projects under development of over 1GW in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia.