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Malaysia's Tenaga makes foray into Vietnamese solar market

March 09, 2021 | 07:52

TNB Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian national electricity producer Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), will acquire a 39 percent stake in a 21.6MW project comprising of five rooftop solar plants in Vietnam from Singapore’s Sunseap Group.

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The deal will serve as a beachhead for Tenaga in the Vietnamese solar market. Photo: VIR

TNB said this acquisition extends TNB’s collaboration with Sunseap, beyond the Malaysia and Singapore cross-border partnership, to capture the rapid growth in the Vietnamese renewable energy market.

The acquired project has secured the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) 2 rates in Vietnam. Having achieved commercial operation date in December 2020, all five plants are under 20-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with EVN to supply clean energy to the national grid.

Sunseap currently holds a 90 percent stake in the projects, which will be reduced to 51 percent upon completion of the 39 percent stake acquisition by TNB Renewables slated for the first quarter of this year. Sun Times Energy JSC, an existing shareholder of the project, will continue to own 10 percent equity interest in the project, according to TNB.

This acquisition will serve as a beachhead for TNB to establish a local presence in Vietnam and expand into the rapidly growing renewable energy and utility market in Vietnam. This acquisition builds on our earlier Malaysia-Singapore cross-border collaboration with Sunseap and demonstrates our commitment in transforming TNB into a regional renewable energy and utility player,” said TNB’s president and CEO Datuk Ir. Baharin Din.

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EVN’s statistics showed that as of the end of 2020, total power capacity in the national grid, excluding that of rooftop solar power, had surpassed 62,000 MW. Photo: VIR

TNB’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ir. Baharin Din described the acquisition as another step forward towards achieving TNB’s ambition to grow its RE and utility businesses in South East Asia.

This acquisition will serve as a beachhead for TNB to establish a local presence in Vietnam and expand into the rapidly growing RE and utility market in Vietnam. This acquisition builds on our earlier Malaysia-Singapore cross-border collaboration with Sunseap and demonstrates our commitment in transforming TNB into a regional RE and utility player.”

Earlier, Sunseap and Tenaga announced plans to form a joint venture to participate in a tender for a two-year trial by Singapore's government to import 100 MW of electricity from Malaysia.

Sunseap is one of the largest and most established players in the solar energy industry in the region, with a pipeline of projects in Singapore, Australia, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and Cambodia.

Meanwhile, TNB has a presence in the U.K., Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Indonesia. TNB hopes to raise its renewable energy generation capacity to 8.3 GW by 2025.

Vietnamese PM orders review of solar power development-related issues

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), localities and Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) to review issues related to Vietnam’s solar power development, the VNA reported.

Solar power development has gained positive results and investment, contributing to the effective exploitation of this power source, as well as electricity supply and energy security in Vietnam.

The development of rooftop solar power, however, has been incompatible with power demand, especially last December, hampering the operations of the national grid.

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Solar panels and wind turbines in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

Of note, power demand saw a decline due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Total produced and imported power capacity of the national grid stood at about 245.9 billion kWh, up around 2.7 percent against 2019 but down 15.6 billion kWh compared to the operation plan of the national electricity grid approved by the MoIT.

Since the start of 2021, EVN has rolled out measures to cut down solar power sources as well as other renewable energy sources in the national grid.

To ensure the development of solar power in line with the regulations and in an efficient manner, relevant agencies have been asked to study and address problems in solar power development over the recent past, particularly rooftop solar power as well as bolster inspections in the field to promptly detect and handle violation cases.

They are also tasked with mapping out effective management measures for renewable energy sources, especially solar power in the coming time, in a bid to minimise the reduction of installed renewable energy sources and economic losses of investors.

Leaders of localities nationwide are also ordered to observe regulations on rooftop solar and ground-mount solar power systems, and avoid unregulated installation of power sources which may cause overloading.

EVN’s statistics showed that as of the end of 2020, total power capacity in the national grid, excluding that of rooftop solar power, had surpassed 62,000 MW.

Capacity of solar panels installed on the ground hit 8,838 MW, while that of rooftop solar power joining the national grid about 8,000 MW./.

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Rosy Huong