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Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight - November 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.



  • Controversial coal. Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has decided to take part in the Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plant project in the central province of Ha Tinh, despite growing criticism from global investors and overseas environmental groups. After obtaining approval from its board members, KEPCO will invest US$189 million to acquire a 40 per cent stake from Hong Kong-based CLP which decided to withdraw from the project due to its newly-adopted coal exit policy. Source: VN Explorer


  • LNG MoU in October – 1. Vietnam has given the green light for US-based ExxonMobil to develop a US$5.09 billion LNG power and terminal project in the northern port city of Hai Phong. The power plant would have an initial capacity of 2.25 GW and would be expanded to 4.5 GW by 2029-30. The Vietnamese government is drafting a new master power development plan which seems to embrace LNG and renewables in order to phase out conventional power. Source: Reuters
  • LNG MoU in October – 2. The MoU for a 3,200MW LNG power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu was signed between the provincial People’s Committee and Singapore’s Delta Offshore Energy on 12 October. The project, worth approximately US$4 billion, is the biggest FDI project in the Mekong Delta region. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • LNG MoU in October – 3. Japanese Prime Minister’s recent three-day visit to Vietnam saw the consortium of investors including Marubeni, Tokyo Gas and PV Power signing an MoU for the Quang Ninh LNG power project, which has an expected capacity of 1,500MW. A separate MoU was also signed under which Marubeni will invest US$1.3 billion in the O Mon 2 power plant in Can Tho. Source: The Asset
  • LNG MoU in October – 4. The U.S.-based AES Corporation and PetroVietnam Gas have signed a term sheet for a joint venture to jointly develop the $1.4 billion Son My LNG Import Terminal Project in the central province of Binh Thuan. Source: Bizhub

Renewable Energy

  • Accelerating offshore wind. Binh Dinh province has given approval to German firm PNG AG to study the possibility of building the country’s second offshore wind power plant. It will carry out a year-long study for a US$1.5 billion wind power plant in the districts of Phu Cat and Phu My. Source: Vn Express International
  • Braking onshore wind. Vietnam has decided to slow down the overly rapid development pace of its wind power industry. The MoIT has told provinces and cities nationwide to temporarily stop accepting proposals for new wind power projects due to over-expansion fears for the sector. The move comes as the country seeks to boost the proportion of renewables and reduce the dependence on coal in its power mix. Source: The Asset

Oil & Gas

  • Buy-sell. PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PV Gas) has decided it would sell its stake in the Southern Gas Trading JSC (PV Gas South).  PV Gas is now thebiggest shareholder at PV Gas South with a 35.26 per cent stake. PV Gas’s divestment plan was determined after the company previously failed to increase its stake in PV Gas South in 2019. Source: Bizhub


  • Take-off. Despite Vietnam’s severe travel restrictions,Vietnam’s leading tour operator Vietravel has received a license for its airline and will operate its first flight in December. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the company to rethink its strategy and “wholly” focus on the domestic market by entering the fiercely competitive airline market which already has six key players. Source: Vn Express International
  • Final landing for Qantas. Australian airline Qantas is expected to finalise an exit from Pacific Airlines, its joint venture with Vietnam Airlines, in a “giveaway deal’ by the end of October. Qantas holds a 30 per cent stake in the JV and will give the entire stake in the Vietnam’s first low-cost airline as a gift to Vietnam Airlines. Source: Deal Street Asia


  • Ride of the Valkyries. Russia’s on-demand ride service InDriver has become the latest entrant in Vietnam’s growing but fiercely competitive ride-hailing market, joining several foreign and domestic firms in the foray. U.S. firm ABI Research estimates Singapore’s Grab dominates the Vietnamese market with a 73 per cent share, followed by local player Be with 16 per cent and Indonesia’s Gojek with 10.3 per cent. Source: Retail News Asia

Natural Resources

  • Nibelungen saga. Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corporation is set to acquire a 10 per cent stake in a mining subsidiary of Vietnamese conglomerate Masan Group for US$90 million. The two companies also signed an agreement to form a strategic alliance in the tungsten industry after the deal. Source: Vn Express International