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Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight - June 2022

Freshfields' Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight keeps you up-to-date with the key business and legal developments in this sector. Please contact us if you would also like to receive our Vietnam M&A Spotlight, Vietnam Environment Spotlight or Vietnam Competition Law Spotlight.



We are pleased to share the article in The Investor recently written by Tony Foster, Managing Partner of our Vietnam offices. Tony provides his deep analysis into investment opportunities and challenges in LNG-to-power projects in Vietnam. The article below sets out more details about his insights on Vietnam LNG market. Source: The Investor

Hydrogen fuel in Vietnam

Tony has also written an article in The Investor about hydrogen fuel in Vietnam. The article looks at the current situation, the obstacles, and the mechanisms that the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) could consider based on a review of the development of the global industry. Source: The Investor



  • Ten years on. AES and PV Gas received an investment registration certificate for the Son My LNG terminal, which is expected to play an important role in supporting Vietnam’s economic growth. With a total investment of about US$1.4 billion, the terminal is expected to achieve financial completion in 2023 and begin commercial operations in 2026. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Elephants in step. Vietnamese investment group Sovico Corporation has signed a cooperation agreement with JERA of Japan to evaluate the potential of supplying LNG for power projects in Vietnam. The parties also intend to jointly develop an LNG power plant project in Vietnam. JERA is the largest LNG importer in the world. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Shed a tear. Vietnam needs to diversify its energy supply sources as it is facing a major coal shortage due to falling imports, rising energy demand, and transmission limitations. According to Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), thermal power plants are struggling with serious coal shortages and many of the plants have halted or reduced operations. EVN’s Thai Binh Thermal Power Plant has been short of coal since the beginning of 2022. Vinacomin and Dong Bac Corporation – two of the coal suppliers – delivered only 74 per cent of the monthly plan. Source: Vietnam Plus and Vietnam Investment Review
  • Pop the champagne. The MoIT asked the Prime Minister to assign EVN to operate the gas-fired Phu My 2-2 and Phu My 3 thermal power plants once the 20-year power purchase contracts terminate. The plants began commercial operation in 2003-4, and the foreign investors agreed to transfer them without reimbursement to Vietnam after 20 years. Source: Vietnam Net
  • Back to the future. The National Assembly’s Economic Committee has asked the Government to remain committed to plans for Ninh Thuan 1 and 2 nuclear power plants, instead of scrapping the project altogether, for the sake of future development potential. The Committee stressed that while the project was stopped six years ago, nuclear power should be included in Vietnam’s power development planning. Source: Vietnam News

Renewable Energy

  • Greener. TGS Green Hydrogen from Germany plans to develop Vietnam’s first green hydrogen project in Ben Tre province with investment capital of about US$850 million. The construction of the green hydrogen plant is expected to start in late June and a trial run could occur in the first quarter of 2023. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Another one. Global investment firm KKR, through its Asia Pacific Infrastructure Fund, has set up Aster Renewable Energy to develop, build, and operate solar, wind and energy storage projects in Vietnam and Taiwan, with a view to expand to other markets in Asia. As of end-2021, KKR had invested around US$4 billion in renewable energy projects globally, with a combined capacity of 14.2GW. KKR sees Asia renewables as core to its infrastructure strategy. Source: Businesswire
  • Whale spotting. Norway's largest energy company Equinor opened a representative office in Hanoi, seeking to develop wind power projects across the country. Together with PetroVietnam, Equinor has applied to develop projects in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Hai Phong and Thai Binh provinces. Source: The Investor
  • Plankton. Singapore utility group SP Group has tied up with CJ OliveNetworks Vina Co. (CJ ONS), a subsidiary of South Korea’s CJ OliveNetworks in Vietnam, to develop up to 50MWp of rooftop solar projects across Vietnam over the next two years. The first project is to operate a 2.5MWp rooftop solar unit at CJ Vina Agri manufacturing plant by June. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • The ploughman plods his weary way. Big customers could buy electricity directly from the generators in a pilot programme to develop a mechanism for a direct power purchase agreement (DPPA) between power generators and customers. The DPPA mechanism will allow customers to have a greater choice of power suppliers, while renewable power producers will have more opportunities in the context of an oversupply in renewable energy. Under the draft, the total capacity of power plants to join in the pilot programme would be limited to 1,000MW. Source: Vietnam News

Oil & Gas

  • Camel Surfing in the Cuu Long. Prime Minister met the CEO of Murphy Oil in Washington D.C. during his trip to the U.S. The Prime Minister asked Murphy Oil to urgently coordinate with PetroVietnam to handle relevant issues, and directed relevant ministries to study Murphy Oil's proposal for speeding up the progress of the Golden Camel field project. Source: Vietnam Plus
  • The ex-Dow day. American giant General Electric (GE) signed an agreement with Vietnam’s PV Power in Washington D.C. on developing solutions to improve efficiency of the Nhon Trach 1 gas-fuelled power plant, and a long-term cooperation deal on maintenance of the Nhon Trach 3 and 4 power plants. Previously, PetroVietnam leaders met with ExxonMobil to discuss ways to advance plans for the Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) complex, a multi-billion dollar integrated gas-to-power development in central Vietnam. Source: The Investor
  • Noncommutative algebra. Vietnamese infrastructure company BB Group has partnered with US-based Quantum Group to jointly develop a US$5.5 billion natural gas complex and a seaport in the central province of Quang Tri. While the 140ha natural gas complex will include a natural-gas processing plant, an LNG plant, and onshore gas and floating gas storage facilities, the seaport will be capable of accommodating ships up to 180,000 tonnes, and is planned for completion by 2025. Source: Vietnam Plus
  • Total circle. Vietnam is working on administrative procedures to build a third oil refinery amid apparent shortages and surging prices due to dependency on global supply. The refinery is to have a capacity of 10 million tonnes per year and be located in Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Vietnam now has two refineries, Nghi Son and Binh Son (also known as Dung Quat), which meet around 70 per cent of domestic demand, and Vietnam imports the rest. With the new plant, Vietnam’s total capacity would reach 23 million tonnes, expected to be enough for domestic use. Source: Vn Express International
  • Clean fuel clean out. PVCombank, OceanBank and Vietcombank have filed a lawsuit against Vietnam Central Biofuels JSC (BSR-BF), the investor in the Dung Quat ethanol project and a subsidiary of the Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical JSC (BSR). The three banks wanted BSR-BF to pay overdue loans plus some VND1.37 trillion in interest, which was used to fund the Dung Quat ethanol project. BSR-BF is one of the two subsidiaries of BSR reporting losses, and the Dung Quat ethanol project is one of the 12 poorly-performing projects of the MoIT. Source: The Saigon Times


  • See-saw. The aviation market in Vietnam is vibrant and the number of international visitors has increased five-fold. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), in April Vietnam's airports handled 6.6 million passengers, down 14.3 per cent compared to the same time last year but the number of foreign visitors reached more than 230,000, an increase of 502 per cent over last year when COVID-19 was a slight problem. Source: Vietnam News
  • Balance. The Ministry of Finance has turned down requests by several airlines’ to reduce VAT from 8 per cent to 5 per cent and fuel import tax from 7 per cent to zero, saying they have already received enough support from the government, and it is important to ensure a balance of benefits to airlines and government. Source: Vn Express International
  • Kick-off. Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) has proposed beginning the construction of Tan Son Nhat Airport’s Terminal 3 in May after a long delay. The latest plan suggests that the construction of the new terminal will be completed within 37 months. According to ACV, the preparation work for the construction is basically completed and the investor is just waiting for the land handover. The Ministry of Defence has asked the Prime Minister to approve handing over 16 hectares of its land in Tan Binh district for the project. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Final whistle. Vietnam Airlines announced the sale of a 35 per cent stake in Cambodia Angkor Air for US$35 million. It had bought a 49 percent stake in the Cambodian carrier in 2009 and promised to help it expand. It is set to divest the remaining 14 per cent by the end of this year. Source: Vn Express International