Mitsubishi pulls out of Vinh Tan 3 coal project in Vietnam

Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp has decided to pull out of a coal-fired power plant in central Vietnam amid growing international concern about environmental impacts.
February 27, 2021 | 08:59
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Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp has decided to pull out of a coal-fired power plant in central Vietnam amid growing international concern about environmental impacts. (Photo: Fortune)

Mitsubishi has committed to reducing its investment in coal power to keep in line with international climate goals, according to its environmental statement, which a company spokesman pointed to in response to questions on Vinh Tan 3. He declined to comment on that particular project. The Japanese trading house will pull out of the 2-gigawatt Vinh Tan 3 project, planned to be located in the southern province of Binh Thuan, because of climate change targets, Reuters reported. Without mentioning Vinh Tan 3 specifically, Mitsubishi said in a statement that it was committed to reducing its investment in coal power in line with international climate goals.

The Japanese trading house also has a stake in the Vung Ang 2 coal station being built in the central province of Ha Tinh, which is more widely known due to the focus on that project by environmental and other groups as well as investors.

Without mentioning Vinh Tan 3 specifically, Mitsubishi said in a statement that it was committed to reducing its investment in coal power in line with international climate goals. The 2-gigawatt plant was originally scheduled to come online in 2024.

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The banking consortium behind Vinh Tan 3 includes the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Standard Chartered and HSBC have pulled financing from the power plant. (Photo: Reuters)

This marks Mitsubishi's first withdrawal from a coal plant project. The trading house has said it will not build any new facilities of this type after Vung Ang 2, VN Express report said. Mitsubishi still has a stake in the Vung Ang 2 coal power plant being built in the central province of Ha Tinh, which is more widely known after being subject to critical scrutiny by environmental and other groups as well as investors. Unlike Vung Ang 2, Vinh Tan 3 is not a national project, and the start date for construction has already been delayed, making it easier to bow out.OneEnergy, a joint venture of Mitsubishi and Hong Kong’s CLP Group, holds a 49 percent interest in the $2 billion projects. State-owned utility Vietnam Electricity owns another 29 percent. Chinese companies are handling materials procurement, construction, and equipment delivery, said Tien Phong News. The banking consortium behind Vinh Tan 3 includes the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Standard Chartered and HSBC have pulled financing from the power plant.

Mitsubishi’s move to exit the estimated $2 billion project shows how willing Japanese companies and financiers are to drop their once-strong support for coal amid pressure from shareholders and activists. Japan’s big banks regularly topped lending league tables for coal mines and power stations. But, in a little over a year, they have committed to ending their financing for the dirtiest fossil fuel, albeit over decades.

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00:41 | 21/10/2021
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