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Suntrace appointed as Owner’s Engineer for solar projects with cumulative capacity over 200 MW in Vietnam

12.07.2018 Category: News

Suntrace has been mandated by local and international investors to unlock the true potential and to improve the bankability of their solar projects in Vietnam.

Since 2015, Suntrace has identified great potential for solar projects and has been active in the development of solar projects in Vietnam. The World Bank Group has appointed Suntrace to conduct a solar measurement campaign, where we have deployed state-of-the-art solar measurement systems, type HelioScale throughout the country. Suntrace also participated in the Solar Energy Week to build capacity of local developers and local industry to prepare for the high influx of solar project development as the Vietnamese government set an ambitious target. To inform international investors and developers, Suntrace also published a Solar Market Brief on Vietnam, with detailed information on this booming solar market and its opportunities and risks.

On 20th June 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue concluded that Prime Minister has agreed to extend the Decision 11 on Solar FIT (9.35 US cents/kWh) to 2020. The deadline will most likely be extended by another one and a half year. Main reason for this extension is the halt of nuclear energy development in Ninh Thuan province, which is also where the solar irradiation is high in the country.

This extension is great news for more than 19 GW of solar projects in the development pipeline (shown in the Figure below) as this will not only build more confidence for developers and investors, but it will allow utility (EVN) to upgrade the grid infrastructure in order to absorb and integrate the large load increase to eventually achieve the 12 GW target of solar generation. The new deadline signifies another chance for projects on earlier development stages or such that have not obtained the required permits on time due to the lengthy permitting process. Developers will also have more time to review and optimise the plant design, fine tune their tendering process and EPC as well as O&M selection procedures. This should help to improve the bankability of many solar projects.

Prior to the announcement of the extension of the Commercial Operation Date (COD) deadline of June 2019, Suntrace was already appointed by developers and investors as Owner's Engineer to perform reviews of local feasibility studies, technical due-diligence, techno-economic optimisation, support in tendering process, EPC and O&M selection and construction supervision. We have conducted several site visits in co-operation with our local partners throughout Vietnam. Suntrace also provides techno-economic optimisation and tendering support to reduce the EPC cost of solar projects by up to five percent based on our case study.

Despite the extended deadline, developers and investors still face major issues in bankability of their projects; hiring an Owner's Engineer or technical advisor may be a solution to bring their projects from the pipeline to approval stage. With more than 5000 MW track record of solar project development around the world including Vietnam, Suntrace can truly unlock the full potential of your project and bring your project to realisation.