Vung Ang power station
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Vietnam and coal|
Vũng Áng power station is a 4,920-megawatt (MW) coal plant complex under development in Hà Tĩnh province, Vietnam. 1,200 MW are operating as of May 2015.
The map below shows the location where the plant is being built, in Kỳ Lợi commune, Kỳ Anh district, Hà Tĩnh province.
In December 2006, PetroVietnam started initial work on the two-unit, 1,200-MW Vũng Áng-1, with the Vietnamese Lilama Corporation being contracted to build the plant. Construction began in August 2009. The first unit was completed in December 2014, and the second unit was completed in May 2015.
Unit 1 subsequently had problems with its turbine. A new rotor was installed in 2016.
In 2007, the Vung Ang II Thermal Power Joint Stock Company (VAPCO) was established to build and operate the power plant, a joint venture between OneEnergy Ltd and the Hanoi based Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Co. (REE). OneEnergy Lts is a 50:50 venture between the Hong Kong based CLP and the Tokyo based Mitsubishi Corp. The plant was reported to be 2 x 600 MW, with an estimated capital cost of US$1.2 billion. The Vietnamese government approved the plant in March 2009. Although one source reported the plant to be 2 x 660 MW in capacity, other sources, including the most recent and detailed, have listed the capacity as 2 x 600 MW.The plant's owners expected to begin construction in March 2015; however, this didn't happen.
In September 2017, Mitsubishi Vice President Yoshinori Katayama met with Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng to discuss the project. The meeting did not produce any news about when construction might begin.
In June 2018 it was reported Hong Kong's One Energy would be sole owner of the plant, pending approval from the Vietnam government.
In July 2018, the Ministry of Planning and Investment decided not to issue an investment certificate to the plant, citing the need for the sponsors to address issues around the EIA, land allocation, and funding.
In March 2019 OneEnergy announced that the plant would use ultra-supercritical rather than supercritical technology.
In June 2019 the completion date for Unit 1 was delayed to 2023 and the completion date for Unit 2 was delayed to 2024 in the Ministry Of Industry And Trade's report on the implementation of the revised seventh Power Development Plan (PDP7).
In September 2019 it was reported that talks with potential lenders for the project had been restarted, including DBS Bank, Mizuho Bank (financial adviser), MUFG, OCBC, SMBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Trust. However, in October 2019, it was revealed that OCBC had withdrawn from the project. In October 2019 more then 30 non-governmental organizations (NGO's) sent a letter to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) demanding that the bank withdraw from financing Vũng Áng-2.
In December 2019 CLP announced that it would no longer invest in new coal-fired power plants. Whether Vũng Áng-2 and another CLP project Vĩnh Tân-3 will reach completion without CLP’s involvement will depend on the projects’ other sponsors, according to Julien Vincent, Executive Director of the NGO Market Forces. These other sponsors include Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and Singapore-headquartered DBS Bank. Mitsubishi has categorized Vũng Áng-2 as "under development" and stated that its ban on funding new plants does not therefore apply.
In February 2020 the National Steering Committee on power development stated that Unit 1 was scheduled to be commissioned in Q1 2024 and Unit 2 in Q2 2025. On February 25, Japan Bank for International Cooperation posted the EIA (in Vietnamese) for Vũng Áng-2 on its website.
In March 2020, a report by the Non Coal, Go Green! Project summarized the financial backing for Vũng Áng-2 as follows:
- The investor mix in this company has changed numerous times, but currently it is 100% owned by OneEnergy Ltd.. The company OneEnergy was previously a 50:50 joint venture between CLP Holdings (headquartered in Hong Kong) and Mitsubishi Corp.’s 100% subsidiary Diamond Generating Asia (DGA). However, in 2019, CLP declared a withdrawal from new coal-fired power projects. As of February 2020, the partners are Mitsubishi Corp. (40%) and Japan’s Chugoku Electric Power Co. (20%), along with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) considering acquiring the remaining 40% that was held by CLP.
In April 2020, following JBIC head Tadashi Maeda's comments to Japanese business magazine Diamond Online that the institution "will no longer accept loan applications for coal-fired power generation projects," pressure mounted on JBIC to enshrine this statement in a formal policy and for it to reject the funding application for Vũng Áng-2 which it has been considering for more than a decade. In June 2020 it was reported that KEPCO was seeking an ownership stake in Vung Ang-2. In July 2020, South Korean lawmakers proposed four bills in the National Assembly that would prohibit government-backed institutions from funding coal projects. Affected firms would include Kepco, Korea Eximbank, Korea Development Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation. It is unclear when voting on the bills will take place in the South Korean parliament. However, as Vung Ang 2 has yet to be approved, if the new legislation is approved before Kepco can finalise the deal then it will need to back away from Vung Ang 2.
Following news in early August 2020 that the construction arm of the South Korean electronics company Samsung was considering participation in the construction of Vung Ang 2, a campaign was established by international environmental groups including Greenpeace, Solutions for Our Climate and Market Forces warning that the company's group-level sustainability pledges and its brand image would be compromised if it chooses to proceed with involvement in the controversial coal plant. In July, Samsung Securities, the group's financial arm, pulled out of potential involvement in Adani's controversial Abbot Point Coal Terminal project in Australia following a consumer boycott campaign. The new international campaign calling on Samsung not to participate in the Vung Ang 2 project has set up a dedicated campaign website: www.wrongcalloncoal.com
Significant problems with the environmental impact assessment
An independent evaluation of the 2018 EIA for Vũng Áng-2 published in April 2020 by Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) was critical of the document on a range of issues:
- The absence of an analysis of renewable energy generation alternatives which ELAW points out is in violation of JBIC guidelines.
- The use of Japanese ministry METI's air pollutant dispersion model, which is not recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as claimed, and which makes the air quality impact predictions meaningless due to the site of the proposed project lying on complex terrain for which the model should not be used.
- The project only complies with Vietnam's emissions standards which are substantially weaker than international standards.
- The EIA's permitting of wet handling of ash in violation of International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, which are the the international benchmark to manage environmental and social risk in infrastructure projects.
- The permitting of the discharge of thermal effluent (heated water) in violation of the IFC's Performance Standards.
- The EIA's dismissal of the project's impacts on marine species without proper review.
Debt financing from JBIC, KEXIM and Japanese commercial banks
In October 2020, the board of KEPCO decided to invest US$189 million for the acquisition of a 40% stake in the proposed project alongside Mitsubishi’s Diamond Generating Asia and Chugoku Electric Power which have 40% and 20% stakes respectively. KEPCO's participation is subject to official approval from the Vietnamese government and would see Samsung C&T and Doosan Heavy Industries joining the project as the engineering, procurement and construction contractors.  KEPCO's decision was criticised by Joojin Kim, managing director of Korean campaign group Solutions for Our Climate, who commented: "South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the ruling party are pursuing a Green New Deal initiative at home but are investing in coal power plants abroad. Above all, KEPCO is expected to suffer a loss of $84 million if it pushes forward the Vung Ang 2 project according to a pre-feasibility study conducted by Korea Development Institute."
In December 2020 the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) signed a loan agreement to provide project financing amounting to up to approximately US$636 million for the project. The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) also participated in the finance package along with the Japanese private sector financiers Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings. The total financing provided for the project was US$1.767 billion.
In March 2021, the governor of JBIC, Maeda Tadashi, announced that the state-owned financial institution would no longer provide funding for coal plant projects overseas. Tadashi indicated that the financing for Vũng Áng-2 would be the final overseas thermal coal project to receive public and private funding from Japanese sources.
Equity investments from Mitsubishi, KEPCO, Chugoku Electric Power and Shikoku Electric Power
Mitsubishi, KEPCO, Chugoku Electric Power and Shikoku Electric Power made a combined US$439 million equity investment in Vũng Áng-2.
In October 2014, Samsung Construction & Trading Corporation, a subsidiary of the Samsung Group, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnamese government to build the two-unit, 1,200-MW, $2.5 billion Vũng Áng-3 (it is unclear why this plant would be so much more expensive than the other two). Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2018, and the two units are scheduled to be brought online in January and July of 2022. Samsung would finance the project using internal funds.
In 2016, Units 3 and 4, each 600 MW in capacity, were reported as planned for 2029-2030. As of June 2017, there has been no news on this project for several years.
In October 2017, Samsung's Chairman and CEO Shin Jong-kyun met with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to discuss the country's investments in Vietnam. Samsung is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with 136,700 workers investments that include aviation, ship building, and telecommunications.
In July 2018 the government announced that Vũng Áng-3 may be cancelled due to local opposition. In June 2019 the completion date for Vũng Áng-3 Units 1-2 was listed as "after 2030" in a report by the the Ministry Of Industry And Trade (MOIT) on the implementation of the revised seventh Power Development Plan (PDP7). Units 3-4 do not appear in the MOIT report and appear to be cancelled.
In November 2020 the Ha Tinh Provincial People's Committee asked the MOIT to convert Vũng Áng-3 to gas. Later in November 2020 it was reported that Samsung had requested and been approved for a refund of its investment in the project by the Prime Minister, and that Vũng Áng-3 and other coal plants whose construction had not yet begun would be cancelled under Vietnam's upcoming Power Development Plan VIII.
In February 2017, local residents blocked the road leading to Vũng Áng-1, saying that coal trucks moving along the road were causing pollution. The local government said it would write to Vinacomin, calling for suspension of coal trucks. The following month, PetroVietnam issued a press release telling us how great its pollution and waste management procedures are.
- Sponsor: PetroVietnam (Vũng Áng-1); Diamond Generating Asia (DGA) (Vũng Áng-2); Samsung Construction & Trading Corporation (Vũng Áng-3)
- Parent company: PetroVietnam (Vũng Áng-1); Mitsubishi (Vũng Áng-2); Samsung Group (Vũng Áng-3)
- Location: Kỳ Lợi commune, Kỳ Anh district, Hà Tĩnh province, Vietnam
- Coordinates: 18.09792, 106.38123 (exact)
- Status: Vũng Áng-1: Operating; Vũng Áng-2: Permitted; Vũng Áng-3: Units 1-2: Shelved; Units 3-4: Cancelled
- Gross Capacity: 4,920 MW (1,200 MW Vũng Áng-1, 1,200 MW Vũng Áng-2, 2,400 MW Vũng Áng-3)
- Type: Subcritical (Vung Ang-1), Ultra-supercritical (Vung Ang-2); Unknown (Vung Ang-3)
- Projected in service: 2014 (Vũng Áng-1 Unit 1); 2015 (Vũng Áng-1 Unit 2); 2024-2025 (Vũng Áng-2); after 2030 (Vũng Áng-3 Units 1-2); 2029-2030 (Vũng Áng-3 Units 3-4)
- Coal Type: Anthracite
- Coal Source:
- Source of financing:
- Vũng Áng-1: US$904 million from five foreign banks: China Development Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Credit Suisse, Intesa SanPaolo, and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp (HSBC); $95 million from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
- Vũng Áng-2: US$1.76 billion loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings and Export-Import Bank of Korea; US$439 million equity investment from Mitsubishi, KEPCO, Chugoku Electric Power and Shikoku Electric Power
- Vũng Áng-3: Pre-financing; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation is the financial adviser
Articles and resources
- Vietnam, OneEnergy to Build $1.2 bln Power Plant, Reuters, Aug. 31, 2007.
- Construction of Vung Ang 1 Thermo-electric Power Plant Kicks Off, Vietnam Investment Gateway, Aug. 28, 2009.
- Vung Ang 1 Thermo Power Plant Successfully Joins National Grid, Vinacomin website, Jan. 6, 2014.
- Second turbine of Vung Ang 1 thermal power plant reaches design capacity, Nhan Dan, 6 Feb. 2015.
- Unit No. 2 of Vung Ang 1 Thermal Power Plant has been officially put into commercial operation, Vietnam Energy, 14 May 2015.
- Rotor tổ máy số 1 Nhà máy nhiệt điện Vũng Áng 1 đã về tới Việt Nam, B-News, 12 July 2016.
- Vietnam Govt OKs US$1.2-Bln Vung Ang Power Plant under BOT Form, Vietnam Business Forum, Mar. 6, 2009.
- Construction of Vung Ang II Thermal Power Plant Scheduled for 2014, Voice of Vietnam, Oct. 28, 2013.
- "Vũng Áng II plant BOT project agreement inked," Viêt Nam News, 18 January 2017
- Vung Ang thermal plant BOT deal talks heat up, Vietnam Investment Review, 7 Oct. 2014.
- "Mitsubishi-led group awarded contract for $2.2bn thermal plant in central Vietnam," Tuoitre News, 01/17/2017
- Ký hợp đồng BOT Nhiệt điện Vũng Áng 2 với đối tác Nhật Bản, Dan Tri, 16 Jan. 2017.
- "Thúc đẩy nhanh dự án nhiệt điện Vũng Áng 2," Báo Mới, 18 September 2017
- "OneEnergy proposed as sole investor of Vung Ang 2 thermal power plant," Intellasia, 08-Jun-2018
- "Bộ KH-ĐT không đồng ý cấp giấy chứng nhận đầu tư BOT Nhiệt điện Vũng Áng II," NLD, July 5, 2018
- Vietnam – Vung Ang 2 CFPP to go ultrasupercritical, Project Finance International, Mar. 29, 2019
- Implementation of Power Projects iIn the Revised Power Development Plan 7, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Republic of Vietnam, Jun. 4, 2019
- AP: Vietnam – Banks restart talks on Vapco 2, Project Finance International, Sep. 2, 2019
- Robin Hicks, "OCBC is now coal-free: Singapore bank drops out of final coal project", Eco-Business, November 1, 2019.
- NGOs call on JBIC not to finance the Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, Friends of the Earth Japan, Oct. 29, 2019
- StanChart stops funding three S-E Asia coal plants worth US$7b, The Business Times, Dec. 19, 2019
- Hong Kong power giant CLP quits coal, Eco-Business, Dec. 19, 2019
- NGO Joint Statement on Mitsubishi Corporation’s Coal Policy, Friends of the Earth Japan, Oct. 21, 2019
- Tình hình thực hiện các dự án điện theo hình thức BOT ở Việt Nam, Feb. 14, 2020
- Projects for Which JBIC Has Already Acquired Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), JBIC website, accessed March 6, 2020.
- "WHY Mitsubishi Corp." NoCoal, Go Green! Project, March 2020
- "JBIC becomes third Japanese bank in a month to signal move away from coal" Eco-Business, Apr. 24, 2020
- Korea's Kepco Moves Ahead With Controversial Coal Investment, canada.com, Jun. 30, 2020
- Tim Ha, "South Korea proposes ban on overseas coal financing", Eco-Business, Jul. 30, 2020
- Robin Hicks, "Samsung targeted by NGOs for proposal to build coal power station in Vietnam", Eco-Business, Aug. 12, 2020
- "Evaluation of the 2018 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report For the Vung Ang II Thermal Power Plant Project" Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, Apr. 28, 2020
- Joe Lo, "South Korea pursues Vietnamese coal plant, drawing international criticism", Climate Home News, Oct. 5, 2020
- Jung Min-hee, "KEPCO to Take Part in Coal-fired Power Plant Project in Vietnam", Business Korea, Oct. 6, 2020
- Kim Byung-wook, "Kepco greenlights controversial Vung Ang 2 coal power plant project", The Korea Herald, Oct. 5, 2020
- Project Financing for Vung Ang 2 Coal-Fired Power Generation Project in Vietnam, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Dec. 29, 2020
- Vung Ang 2 Coal-Fired Power Plant (1.2GW) IPP, IJGlobal, accessed Mar. 3, 2021
- JBIC backs away from funding coal-fired plants, NHK, Mar. 3, 2021
- Samsung reaches deal to develop $2.5bln thermal power plant in central Vietnam, Tuoi Tre News, 15 Oct. 2014.
- Samsung C&T in thermal power project deal, Saigon Times, 16 Oct. 2014.
- "Vietnam National Power Development Plan til 2020," ANT, November 10, 2016
- "Samsung sẽ 'lấn sân' đầu tư viễn thông tại Việt Nam?" Diễn đàn Doanh nghiệp, 7 October 2017
- A series of power projects have been stopped, Vietnambiz, Jul. 12, 2018
- Implementation of Power Projects iIn the Revised Power Development Plan 7, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Republic of Vietnam, Jun. 4, 2019
- Tổ hợp điện - khí LNG Vũng Áng sẽ được xem xét trong Quy hoạch điện VIII, Nang Luong Vietnam, Nov. 2, 2020
- Nhiều dự án nguồn điện trong quy hoạch ‘chưa rõ tiến độ’ vào vận hành, Nang Luong Vietnam, Nov. 25, 2020
- Quy hoạch vùng ĐBSCL: Thay thế tất cả nhà máy điện than chưa xây dựng bằng nhà máy LNG và năng lượng tái tạo, Cafe F, Nov. 26, 2020
- Hà Tĩnh: Yêu cầu TKV tạm dừng vận chuyển than cho Nhà máy nhiệt điện Vũng Áng 1, Cafe F, 23 Feb. 2017.
- Nhà máy Nhiệt điện Vũng Áng 1: Triển khai hiệu quả các công trình bảo vệ môi trường, PetroTimes, 11 Mar. 2017.
- DANH MỤC CÁC DỰ ÁN NGUỒN ĐIỆN VÀO VẬN HÀNH GIAI ĐOẠN 2016 - 2030, Ban hành kèm theo Quyết định số 428/QĐ-TTg ngày 18 tháng 3 năm 2016 của Thủ tướng Chính phủ (LIST OF POWER PROJECT IN OPERATION PERIOD 2016 - 2030, Issued together with Decision No. 428 / QD - TTg of March 18, 2016 by the Prime Minister)
- "Japan Banks to Finance $95M to Vietnam Coal-fired Power Project," VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Vietnam, accessed April 23, 2020
- "Vung Ang 3 Coal-Fired Power Plant (1200MW)," IJGlobal transaction data, March 17, 2020 (paywall)