In recent months, Vietnam has been making significant progress towards boosting its green economy and achieving sustainable development. The country is committed to promoting its National Green Growth Strategy, which was unveiled in 2021 with the ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. This comprehensive strategy outlines Vietnam’s plan to transition towards a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly economy, reflecting its commitment to promoting a greener future.
Singapore-based energy and urban development company Sembcorp Industries recently announced new partnerships in sustainable urban development in Vietnam. During a visit to Singapore in February by the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Pham Minh Chinh, Sembcorp signed a memorandum of understanding with its long-term partner, Becamex IDC Corporation, to co-develop five industrial parks valued at around US$1 billion.
These industrial parks, known as Vietnam Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs), will feature sustainable solutions such as rooftop solar panels, solar farms and eco-friendly buildings, aimed at reducing their carbon footprint. The parks will also have monitoring systems to manage energy, water, waste, traffic and security in real-time.
The Vietnamese government also granted Sembcorp and Becamex a license to invest in a 500-hectare industrial park in Nghe An province, which will expand on the successful 750-hectare park established in 2015.
This province provides investment incentives for manufacturers and is home to many electronics, garment, and consumer goods companies.
To date, 32 international manufacturers have invested over $744 million in park I.
Sembcorp has been appointed by the Vietnamese and Singaporean governments to operate VSIPs since 1996, and has since grown to 12 developments. It has drawn in US$18.4 billion in investments from over 800 multinational companies and created over 288,000 jobs in the industrial sector, supporting the rise of the middle class in Vietnam.
Kelvin Teo, CEO of Sembcorp Development and co-chairman of VSIP Group, stated that their commitment to Vietnam remains strong, and they look forward to continued support of all parties as they grow VSIP. The partnerships mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and 10th year of the strategic partnership between Singapore and Vietnam.
Growth in sustainable energy solutions
In another development, Singapore-based energy utilities company SP Group has acquired its first solar farm assets in Vietnam as part of a plan to develop 1.5 gigawatts of utility-scale and rooftop solar projects in the country by 2025.
The Europlast Phu Yen Solar Power Plant and the Thanh Long Phu Yen Solar Power Plant, located in Phu Yen province on the south-central coast of the country, have a combined peak capacity of 100 megawatts-peak and generate 130 gigawatt-hours of clean energy per year.
This results in an avoidance of 105,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Europlast has been operational since June 2019, while the Thanh Long plant was established in December 2020.
SP Group said that the assets will provide the company with the ability to help commercial and industrial customers achieve “100 per cent clean energy consumption” once Vietnam’s direct power purchase framework is established. This framework, which is still being developed by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, will allow renewable energy generators to sell clean electricity to private offtakers for the first time.
Currently, SP Group’s Vietnamese business focuses on designing, deploying and operating rooftop solar solutions across the country. These solutions only green a portion of customers’ energy mix.
The company describes the acquisition as a “key milestone” of the group’s long-term ambitions in the country. Through its solar power offerings in both rooftop and utility-scale solutions, SP Group will be a one-stop provider to help its Vietnam customers meet their decarbonization goals.
SP Group has been developing rooftop solar projects in Vietnam through partnerships and joint ventures since 2021. These projects currently cover more than 115 megawatts of rooftop solar assets.
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