Tapping the full potential of nearshore winds in Vietnam
Graced with a coastline running over 3,000km, Vietnam has some of the best wind resources in Southeast Asia, making it a perfect fit for developing nearshore and offshore wind energy to help the country meet its fast-growing electricity requirements.
Riding on the industry boom, Siemens Gamesa has secured more than 1 GW of turbine orders, including six nearshore projects during the past two years using the nearshore variant of the Siemens Gamesa 4.X platform. Despite the disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the company has already completed the installation of four nearshore wind farms; Tan Thuan, Tra Vinh, Binh Dai and Ben Tre Lot 5 Phase I. These successful nearshore installations marked a milestone in the growth of Siemens Gamesa in Vietnam and strengthened its position as a leading wind power solution provider in the country.
Among other partners Siemens Gamesa has closely worked for four wind projects in Vietnam with PowerChina Huadong, which is a Chinese engineering procurement and construction (EPC). “In an emerging wind market like Vietnam, the brand reputation of Siemens Gamesa and its project management methodology and experience are conducive for us as a project team to have good communications and engagement with project developers and investors,” noted Yu Kun, Deputy Dean of the Renewable Energy Institute of PowerChina Huadong.
“The nearshore market in Vietnam represents an exciting and challenging new segment for the Asia Pacific team, drawing on the vast experience of many colleagues to deliver, install and commission successfully in unique global circumstances,” said Ronan O’Neill, Head of Project Management for Asia Pacific.
Much like an offshore site, the construction of a nearshore wind farm project faces the challenges of abrupt weather conditions at sea and the associated marine safety risks. The nearshore site conditions, including hydrological data of tides and waves, affect not only the design of the projects but also the daily operations, for example, the use of different crew transfer vessels according to different weather patterns.
“Different from onshore projects the team in APAC are used to, the complexity of nearshore projects is at another level when it comes to an emergency response plan, the daily work plan, and weather downtime. I am happy to see the significant learning curves of our onshore team and the contractors involved. On top of that, the challenges are perceived by the team in a positive manner,” said Jin Xin, Head of Construction, Onshore APAC.
As the global leader in offshore wind power with 18.4 GW of installations in all major offshore markets, the company recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of Vindeby, the world’s first offshore wind project installed in 1991 in Denmark.
This long history of offshore wind projects means the company is uniquely positioned to leverage its know-how and project experience to support the supply of nearshore wind farm construction.
Peter Tomic is Siemens Gamesa’s APAC Marine Operations Manager located in Taiwan, who has also been involved in the nearshore projects in Vietnam. “We have embarked on developing a local supply chain complying with all the norms on safety and other standards. The advantage is that we have the experience of entering new markets. We can bring in our experience and knowledge, and we are prepared to help the local suppliers adapt to industry norms,” said Peter.
“Working together, we share and leverage our respective resources in our common goal to bring more wind projects to life and build a nascent wind energy industry in Vietnam. We have already had a challenging but progressing start during the COVID-19 period, and we need concerted efforts, including a continuous supportive policy framework to sustain wind development in the country,” added Yu Kun.
While the current tariff for wind power expired at the beginning of November, Siemens Gamesa and many others in the industry are urging for a constructive policy mechanism that can support the continued growth of wind and enable green energy to give its full play to the post COVID-19 economic recovery.