US-based PHI Group will hook up with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to jump into energy projects in Vietnam.
PHI Group chairman Henry Fahman said state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) had agreed to invest in two coal-fired power projects in southern An Giang and central Quang Tri provinces, developed by it and two other Vietnamese partners. “The involvement of EGAT will make these projects more feasible,” said Fahman.
While EGAT can contribute capital and experience in running power plants, PHI Group can supply coal to power plants from coal mines in Indonesia. Furthermore, Fahman said PHI Group was able to provide a breakthrough coal-combustion-to-steam-energy system that could save 50 per cent of coal, while producing the same energy as combusted in traditional coal-fired power plants.
PHI Group early this year signed principle agreements with Vietnam’s Hoang Ngoc Joint Stock Company and Sao Nam Group to develop a 2,000 megawatt power project in An Giang and a 3,600MW power project in Quang Tri.
“For the Quang Tri power project, we are in the first stage of administrative preparations. But for the project in An Giang, we completed this first stage and will propose this investment to the Ministry of Industry and Trade for approval next month,” said Fahman.
The group two weeks ago formed Indochina Energy Ltd as a special purpose holding company for developing the power plants in Vietnam. This subsidiary signed an investment agreement with Hoang Ngoc Company, following the terms previously agreed between PHI Group and the Vietnamese company, to prepare for strategic and major institutional investors to participate in the An Giang power plant project.
“Indochina Energy will hold a 90 per cent stake in this project. In case EGAT wants to invest in this project, it will invest through Indochina Energy,” Fahman said, adding that PHI Group had worked with several international institutional investor groups in Asia and Europe that have indicated an interest in financing these power plant projects in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s power consumption growth, during 2010-2020, is projected to at least double her gross domestic product at 12 per cent per annum, according to the country’s seventh power development master plan. Until 2020, total power generation capacity is forecast to reach 75,000MW, two-thirds of which will come from thermal power plants.
Many foreign investors are still planning to invest in power projects in Vietnam, including Malaysia’s Janakuasa Bhd, South Korea’s Taekwang Power Holdings, Japan’s Sojitz and Sumitomo corporations and South China Power Grid.
During the last 15 years, only four power projects have been licenced to foreign investors under build-operate-transfer model – Phu My 3, Phu My 2.2, Mong Duong 2 and Hai Duong plants.