Thai firms are stepping up investment in renewable energy projects in Vietnam, particularly solar power, through merger and acquisition (M&A) deals.
B.Grimm Power Pcl has registered to invest 216.7 million USD in the Hoa Hoi solar power project in the central province of Phu Yen, the fourth largest foreign-invested project in Vietnam so far this year.
Vo Cao Phi, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, said this will transform the share structure of B.Grimm Power Pcl and Vietnam’s Phu Yen TTP JSC.
Last year, the Thai group spent 32.5 million USD buying up to 80 percent of stake at Phu Yen TTP JSC – the investor of the 257 MW plant in Phu Yen, which is expected to be put into operation in June 2019.
In April 2019, the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand) also extended 65 million USD in credit to Eastern Power Group Pcl and Communication & System Solution Pcl to finance the construction of two solar power plants in Phu Yen, with combined generating capacity of 100 MW.
In 2018, Thailand’s Sermsang International Co. Ltd., purchased 80 percent of the Binh Nguyen solar power project in the central province of Quang Ngai at 17.6 million USD.
The same year, Gulf Energy Development Group of tycoon Sarath Ratanavadi tied up with Green Energy Company of Vietnam to develop a 48 MW solar power project worth 66 million USD in Trang Bang district, the southwestern province of Tay Ninh.
Meanwhile, Superblock Pcl, Thailand’s biggest solar energy company, has also invested in some projects in Vietnam, in line with its goal of acquiring some renewable energy companies in Southeast Asia, towards expanding its operation in China, Japan and Australia.
Most of the above-mentioned solar power projects are expected to be completed before June 30 to benefit from the preferential price of solar power at 9.35 US cents/kWh, which will be applied for 20 years as from June 30, 2019.
Between April 23 and May 17, a total of 23 solar power plants were inaugurated in Vietnam, raising the number of solar power plants in the country to 27. The figure is hoped to stand at 88 by June 30.
According to Audistti Stroithong, apart from central and southern regions that are blessed with the high level of radiation and abundant wind energy, Thai businesses are seeking investment opportunities in north-central localities of Vietnam.
Thai enterprises are ready to step into the Vietnamese market to invest in the renewable energy sector, he said.
The Vietnamese Government has issued various incentives in terms of credit, corporate income tax and land lease price, helping to lure waves of both domestic and foreign investors in renewable energy development, including those from Thailand, he said.
Currently, Vietnam has added 121 solar power projects to national and provincial electricity planning schemes. Besides, another 221 projects with total designed capacity exceeding 14,330 MW are waiting for approval.
Experts forecast that the domestic solar power sector will lure about 12 billion USD by 2025 and 42 billion USD by 2035.