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Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight - April 2020

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 either our Vietnam M&A Spotlight or our Vietnam Competition Law Spotlight.


Sunny days – new solar FITs

The Prime Minister issued Decision 13 dated 6 April 2020 on encouragement mechanisms for solar power projects in Vietnam, effective from 22 May 2020.  Decision 13 sets out a new feed-in-tariff (FIT) applicable to solar power projects.  Grid-connected solar projects that obtained an investment decision by 23 November 2019 and achieve commercial operation date no later than 31 December 2020 will be entitled to these FITs. Later projects must go through a competitive bidding process to decide the applicable FIT. To date the legal framework for tendering solar power projects has not been developed.

Decision 13 also covers rooftop power systems and allows owners of certain projects to sell power to buyers other than EVN.

Please stay tuned for our separate legal briefing on this new Decision 13 and its potential impacts on solar power businesses in Vietnam.

Boom times for biomass - FIT up

The Prime Minister has adjusted up the purchase price for biomass power projects that generated electricity before 5 March 2020. UnderDecision 08/2020/QD-TTg, the purchase price for electricity generated by combined heat and power generation projects at the delivery point is 1,634 VND (7.03 US cents) per kWh,(up from 1,220 VND (6.77 US cents) per kWh). Source: Vietnam Plus



  • Off to the races - Bac Lieu province. On January 21, Bac Lieu People’s Committee granted an investment decision to Singapore’s Delta Offshore Energy to build a 3,200MW liquefied natural gas-fired power plant. The project, worth approximately US$4 billion, is the biggest FDI project in the Mekong Delta region. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • When it rains, it pours - Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong requested the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau to weigh environmental and economic impacts of LNG electricity projects that are seeking approval.  They comprise the 6,000 MW Cai Mep Ha LNG Complex in Phu My town, the 4,500 MW Long Son electricity centre and the 4,800 MW Long Son LNG electricity plant in Vung Tau city, the 1,200 MW gas-fired Ba Ria 2 plant in Ba Ria city, and the Phu My 3.1 thermal power plant with a capacity of 850 MW in Phu My town. Source: Vietnam Plus
  • Sauntering to the starting line - Long An 1&2. The Ministry of Trade and Investment (MoIT) consulted with the leaders of Long An province to map out a plan to convert fuel from the imported coal to LNG for Long An 1 &2 thermal power projects. Source: Vietnam Energy
  • Beating a retreat - coal. The London-headquartered HSBC cancelled its role as a financial advisor for the 1,980MW Vinh Tan 3 coal power plant in Vietnam. It marks the latest move by a major international lender to ease off on bankrolling the fossil fuel in Asia. Source: Eco-Business
  • Undeterred and indomitable - Vinacomin Project. Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) has issued invitations to invest in Quynh Lap I coal-fired Thermal Power Project with a capacity of 1,200 MW. Source: Vietnam Energy
  • Virus cuts - electricity bills. The MOIT has made a proposal to reduce power tariffs in a bid to ease financial pressures for businesses struggling to pay operating expenses during the virus crisis. Source: Vietnam Investment Review

Renewable Energy

  • Trung Nam Group approved to develop a 450MW solar power plant, the largest in Southeast Asia, in Ninh Thuan Province. The company was also approved to build a 500kV substation and install 500kV and 220kV transmission lines to connect the farm with the national grid. Source: Vietnam News
  • Increasing capacity of Trung Nam wind power project. Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung signed Document 311/TTg-CN on 10 March 2020 agreeing to adjust the capacity of Trung Nam wind power project from 105.75 MW to 151.95 MW. Source: Vietnam Energy
  • TTC energy. Dutch development bank FMO is considering a US$6.5 million investment in Vietnamese renewable energy company TTC Energy, a part of Thanh Thanh Cong Group. Source: Deal Street Asia
  • EPC contract for Phuoc Ninh Solar Power Project. On 2 March 2020, the Ninh Thuan Energy Industry Joint Stock Company (a member unit of T&T Group) signed an EPC contract with the Sharp – NSN Joint Venture to develop Phuoc Ninh Solar Power Project (SPP). The investment capital for Phuoc Ninh SPP includes capital of T&T Group and capital mobilized from other financial sources with a support from HD Bank. Source: Vietnam Energy
  • Local view. The Binh Thuan Wind Power Association has asked the Prime Minister and Ministry of Industry and Trade to extend the wind power development mechanism in Decision 39/2018/QĐ-TTg for 14 months. Source: Vietnam Energy
  • Global view. The World Bank published a report on the Vietnam Solar Competitive Bidding Strategy and Framework. Source: The World Bank

Road transportation

  • The price of certainty. Grab and other ride-hailing platforms now have a legal framework in Vietnam after the pilot e-hailing programme ended and Decree 10 came into effect on 1 April 2020. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • High-speed railways. Deputy Prime Minister has urged the Ministry of Transport to quickly decide whether Yen Vien-Pha Lai-Ha Long-Cai Lan railway project, which was abandoned 15 years ago, should be continued, suspended or completely terminated. It was supposed to be Vietnam’s first high speed railway with an estimated investment of VND7.66 trillion mobilised from the Government bonds. Source: Bizhub
  • High-speed feasibility studies. Three years after receiving the approval from the Ministry of Transport, Lotte E&C completed the pre-feasibility study for the second phase of the project to upgrade the Yen Vien-Lao Cai railway route. Source: Vietnam Investment Review

Oil & Gas

  • Gas distribution. Japan-based Saibu Gas Co., Ltd. bought 18.9 million PV Low Pressure Gas shares, raising its stake in the latter to 21%.Source:  Vietnam Net
  • Oil and gas - continental shelf of Vietnam. Jadestone Energy (JSE) - a multinational energy corporation headquartered in Singapore - has proposed to the Vietnamese Government to expand its investment in searching, exploring, exploiting oil and gas in existing fields, as well as in developing the new offshore projects in the exclusive economic zone of the continental shelf and on land of Vietnam. Source: Vietnam Energ
  • Refining. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical is considering suspending the operation of Dung Quat Oil Refinery due to overloaded storage until the market recovers. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Covid again. Due to the poor performance of the general economy, the total first-quarter revenue of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group slid VND13,194 billion (US$573,610,000) against the same period last year. Source: Vietnam Investment Review

Airports / Aviation

  • Optimism lesson 1. Quang Nam plans forChu Lai Airport to become an international airport by 2030, with a capacity of five million passengers a year. Source: Saigon Securities Incorporatio
  • Optimism lesson 2. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) hassubmitted to the Prime Minister the appraisal of investment policy of domestically-invested Kite Air for approval. With a possible nod from the Prime Minister, Kite Air would start commercial operation in the second quarter of 2020. Source:Hanoi Times
  • Optimism lesson 3. In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the local aviation market is about to welcome the fourth player, named Vietravel Airlines. Source: Vietnam Investment Review