Aker-Owned Developer Moves Ahead With 1.4 GW Windfarm Off Vietnam

vietnam wind farm
Illustration courtesy Mainstream Renewable Power

Published Nov 14, 2021 10:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

A subsidiary of Norwegian offshore giant Aker has received the green light to start work on what could become Southeast Asia's largest offshore wind project. 

Mainstream Renewable Power, majority-owned by Aker Horizons, is partnering with Vietnam's Phu Cuong Group on the construction of a 1.4 GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Soc Trang Province in southern Vietnam. The provice has approved a decision on investment for the first 200 MW increment of the project, bringing it one step closer to financial close. 

Mainstream holds a 70 percent stake in the project, and its Vietnamese partner Phu Cuong Group holds the remaining 30 percent stake. A financial close is now expected in 2022, with first power coming online in 2023. 

The project has already completed its site assessment work, and the selection of a wind turbine supplier and installation contractor are under way. Mainstream still has to finalize a grid connection agreement and a power purchase agreement with Vietnam's national electricity company - two vital agreements in a financial decision on moving ahead. 

"The Phu Cuong Soc Trang project promises to be a catalyst for the development of a true offshore wind industry of a scale that will promote the achievement of net zero by 2050," said Mainstream general manager for Asia-Pacific Cameron Smith in a statement. 

Mainstream has also signed an initial agreement with Advanced Information Technologies Corporation (AIT) to build a separate, 500 MW wind farm off the coast of nearby Ben Tre Province.  The project is expected to start construction by 2023-4 and reach commercial operation by 2025-6, coming online in time to supply power for expected economic growth in Vietnam.

Mainstream was acquired by the Aker Group renewables division Aker Horizons in May 2021. Its new owners have "a clear ambition to develop Mainstream into a renewable energy major," according to Aker Horizons CEO Kristian Røkke.