Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight - May 2021
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.
- Optimism part 1 – a new airline. Vietravel, a leading travel agency in Vietnam, is seeking to sell an unspecified stake in its new airlines Vietravel Airlines which began flying early this year. After four months of operating in the aviation sector, Vietravel plans to restructure its airlines in order to prevent losses from being counted against the travel agency’s financial records. Source: Vn Express International
- Optimism part 2 - new airports. While the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has rejected proposals by Ha Giang, Bac Giang, Ninh Binh, Binh Phuoc and Ha Tinh provinces to build new airports in their localities or develop their military airports into mixed-use facilities, the Prime Minister has approved the proposal to conduct a pre-feasibility study for the construction of Quang Tri Airport as a public-private partnership project. Source: Vietnam Net and Hanoi Times
- Optimism part 3 – vaccination passports. Tony Foster, Managing Partner of our Vietnam offices, looks at prospects for vaccination passports and the aviation sector in Vietnam in this news article in the Vietnam Investment Review.
- Another ring.Hanoi has proposed building a fourth ring road with a price tag of VND 135 trillion (US$5.87 billion) to connect with neighboring localities. The Minister of Transport has expressed support for the project which is to be a public-private partnership and completed in around eight years. Source: Vn Express International
- Ca Na LNG. The Prime Minister has approved the Ministry of Transport’s suggestion to add an LNG import terminal to the Ca Na LNG-to-power project in Ninh Thuan province. The LNG terminal would have a storage capacity of up to 97,000 tonnes and will directly support the 1,500MW first phase of the power complex. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
- Cleaner energy. VinaCapital GS Energy Pte., Ltd., a joint venture between GS Energy of South Korea and VinaCapital, has received an investment certificate to proceed with the construction of a US$3 billion LNG-to-power complex in Long An province. The original plan from the local government had been to build coal-fired plants, but a decision was made to switch to LNG as part of the Vietnamese government’s push for cleaner energy. Source: The Asset
- Gas galore. Millennium Energy Vietnam Co., Ltd., a member of Millennium Group from the United States, has proposed to develop a 9,600MW LNG project in Soc Trang province. Once approved, it would be the largest LNG project in the Mekong River Delta. The investment capital would be US$15 billion. Source: Vietnam Plus
Oil & Gas
- Upstream reshuffle part 1. An Italianoil and gas company, Eni, has bought Block 115/09, located offshore central Vietnam. Eni Vietnam has completed the acquisition from KrisEnergy of a 100 per cent participating interest and the operatorship in the Block. Eni’s acquisition consolidates its recent Ken Bau discovery. Source: Offshore Energy
- Upstream reshuffle part 2. Russian state-owned oil and gas producer Zarubezhneft has agreed to buy out compatriot Rosneft's shareholdings in two offshore exploration and development projects in Vietnam, along with a related offshore gas and condensate pipeline. Rosneft and Zarubezhneft have not disclosed the financial terms of the agreement. Rosneft’s decision to sell its shareholdings in Vietnam are in line with changes in its long-term strategy. These involve focusing on large and capital-intensive greenfield projects in Russia, and selling minor and depleted assets with a high cost base and unclear returns. Source: Upstream Online
- Going direct. Samsung Electronics Vietnam is seeking support from the Government to enter into a direct power purchase agreement (DPPA) scheme that will enable it to directly purchase renewable energy from producers, instead of through Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).Under the pilot scheme, independent renewable energy developers with an installed capacity of 30MW or more are permitted to supply electricity directly to private consumers for industrial manufacturing purposes. Once it begins, EVN will no longer be the only power distributor in Vietnam. Source: Vietnam Plus
- Windy. Thai electricity power producer Ratch Group has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Nexif Energy BT, the owner of the 80MW Nexif Ben Tre wind power project, for US$8.68 million. This is Ratch’s second wind power project in Vietnam, following its acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in the US$45 million Thanh Phong wind farm in May 2020. Source: Bangkok Post
- New breeze. Hitachi SE’s renewable energy business expanded to Vietnam by signing a strategic cooperation agreement with Trung Nam Wind Power JSC which is currently operating a 151.96MW wind farm in Ninh Thuan province worth VND 4 trillion (US$172.4 million). After the deal, Hitachi SE will own a 35.1 per cent stake in the wind farm. Source: Vietnam Plus
- Environmental fears. Environmentally beleaguered Ha Tinh province wants to shut down the Thach Khe iron ore mining project which is Southeast Asia’s largest iron ore mine, citing uncertain feasibility, and to exploit tourism benefits instead. According to the province’s development plan, Ha Tinh will close the mine and change the direction of land use towards ecotourism, urban centers, hi-tech agricultural production zones and other worthy endeavors. Source: Vn Express International