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Vietnam Environment Spotlight June 2023

Freshfields' Vietnam Environment 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 Infrastructure Spotlight or Vietnam Competition Law Spotlight.


Carbon dating. Vietnam will run a carbon market starting in 2028, according to a draft plan issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. This market will strengthen the exchanges of carbon credits between Vietnam and international markets. Pilot operations will start in 2025. Source: Vietnam Plus

Carbon dated. The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will have a direct impact on four categories of industrial products exported by Vietnam to the EU. The carbon tax, to be introduced on 1 October 2023, not only impacts the complete supply chain of the steel, cement, aluminium, and fertiliser industries, but also the export value of Vietnamese products to the EU. Source: Vietnam Investment Review

Cluster? South Korea’s SEP Cooperative plans to develop Tam Lap 2 in Binh Duong province into Vietnam’s first zero-emissions industrial cluster. It would feature infrastructure for solar energy, processing wastewater and waste, and recycling industrial waste. Its construction is set to begin in late 2023. Source: The Investor

Smart Alec. Green and Smart Mobility Joint Stock Company (GSM) launched Green SM Taxi, a taxi service using electric vehicles (EVs), in Hanoi on 14 April 2023. All its EVs are Vinfast cars. The service is to be expanded to at least five provinces this year. Source: Vietnam News

Guide to the Galaxy. EV charging solutions provider Charge+ is planning to develop a 5,000 km EV charging highway with 45 direct current fast-charging stations across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, with the first stations to be operational by end-2024. The charging highway will be the longest in the region, and among the longest of its kind in the world. Source: The Business Times

High on the sun. Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) and Singapore’s SP Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to carry out rooftop solar energy system installation and operation with a maximum output of 10.44 Megawatt-peak at nine Sabeco’s breweries. This will bring the number of Sabeco breweries adopting solar energy by the end of 2023 to 17. Source: VN Express International
Green hydrogen party. Clean energy company TGS Tra Vinh Green Hydrogen Company has started construction of Vietnam's first and largest green hydrogen factory with investment of VND8 trillion (US$341 million). It is expected to become operational in two years, initially producing 24,000 tonnes of green hydrogen and 195,000 tonnes of oxygen a year. Source: VN Express International

On the bandwagon. John Cockerill, a mechanical engineering group from Belgium, is working with ministries and local authorities to reach an agreement to develop another hydrogen factory in Tra Vinh. Source: Vietnam Investment Review

Closed mouth. WHA Utilities and Power (WHAUP) is planning to acquire new wind and solar power generation facilities with a capacity of 50-100MW in Vietnam. WHAUP did not elaborate on the asset acquisition plan, just disclosing that the deals are expected to be concluded by the end of this year. Source: Bangkok Post

Let’s talk. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), investors in 65 out of the 85 so-called renewable energy transition projects, with a combined capacity of 3,640 MW, have written to Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) proposing pricing negotiations. Of these, 56 have proposed tentative prices equalling to 50 per cent of the price ceiling set by the MoIT. Source: The Saigon Times
Or argue. The number of disputes related to energy projects in Vietnam has been on the rise in recent years, with many attributed to the Vietnamese government's environmental commitments and agreements at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Disputes arise in both the construction and operation phases. They are of an increasingly complex nature, growing in value and taking longer to settle. Such disputes are capable of inflicting significant financial damage on all parties involved. Source: Vietnam News

Or dream. Norway's largest energy group Equinor, in cooperation with PetroVietnam, is eying an offshore wind power survey in Binh Thuan province. A meeting between the Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam and the Binh Thuan Vice Chairman took place a few days after the government’s approval of the National Power Development Plan (PDPVIII). Source: The Investor