By Myrna M. Velasco
AC Energy of the Ayala group and its Singaporean partner The Blue Circle have inked a deal with American firm GE for the supply of turbines for their 40- megawatt second phase Mui Ne wind farm power project in Binh Thuan province in Vietnam.
In a statement to the media, the Ayala firm indicated that the notice to proceed (NTP) was signed with General Electric Re¬newable Energy this week – en¬abling the American firm then to supply its new Cypress wind tur¬bines for the Vietnam venture.
The Mui Ne wind farm proj¬ect will cost US$80 million, which shall be bankrolled by a combination of debt and equity financing.
Its completion target is in 2021 and this development is aligned to qualify for the 8.5 US cents feed-in-tariff incentive being dangled by the Vietnamese government for wind farm installations.
As emphasized by Deepak Maloo, regional sales leader of GE Onshore Wind, the company’s 5.0-megawatt Cypress turbines “are ideally suited to make the best use of Vietnam’s tremendous wind energy potential.”
The Cypress turbines of GE are so far deemed as the big¬gest-per-installation that new wind farm developments could be equipped with – primarily those for onshore platforms
The Vietnam project has been designed to utilize eight Cypress turbines at 5.0MW each – hence, reaching the targeted installed capacity of 40MW.
GE explained that the technology “will carry the largest rotor diameter for an onshore project in Asia – at 158 meters – and will be the first to transport blades in two pieces before assembly on site.”
Hervé Grillot, chief construction officer of The Blue Circle, expounded “this technology is a game-changer for onshore sites as it will allow larger capacity machines,” which will then effectively lower the cost of power and will at the same time shore up the competitive advantage of wind energy.
The AC Energy-Blue Circle tandem noted that they waded through “very complex and challenging environment” in pursuing the project because of the general suspension of master plan approvals in Vietnam, that was relative to the country’s implementation of a new Planning Law.
The project sponsors nevertheless emphasized that they still succeeded ”in securing the land grid connection for the project in a difficult context.”
Patrice Clausse, chief operating officer of AC Energy International, said “this latest addition to the Mui Ne project is a significant stride towards AC Energy’s 2025 goal of reaching 5.0-gigawatt of renewables capacity in the Philippines and around the region.”