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Oct 25, 2023 / 13:05

Singapore to import 1.2 GW of clean energy from Vietnam

The electricity will be transmitted via a new 1,000-kilometer submarine cable, with the capacity to supply 10% of Singapore's annual energy needs.

The Singapore Government has granted a license to import 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of eco-friendly electricity, predominantly sourced from wind power, from Vietnam.

 Vietnam is set to export clean energy to Singapore. Photo: Tuan Linh/The Hanoi Times

During the Singapore International Energy Week held on October 24, Singapore's Second Minister for Industry and Trade, Tan See Leng, announced that the Energy Market Authority (EMA) has granted a conditional license to Sembcorp Utilities to import electricity from  PetroVietnam Technical Service Corporation (PTSC).

The electricity will be transmitted via a new 1,000-kilometer submarine cable, with the capacity to supply 10% of Singapore's annual energy needs. Singapore had previously entered into similar agreements to import clean electricity from Indonesia (2GW) and Cambodia (1GW). As a result, by 2035, imported electricity is projected to make up approximately 30% of Singapore's total energy supply. This is a significant step towards the country's commitment to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions (net zero) by 2050.

Sembcorp anticipates that power purchases could commence as early as 2033, pending government approvals. Sembcorp and PTSC will collaborate on developing the project proposal and seek the necessary conditional and import licenses from the EMA, as well as an export license from Vietnam.

Earlier, on February 10, during Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit to Singapore, PTSC and Sembcorp signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) for investment cooperation and the export of electricity to Singapore from Vietnam's offshore renewable energy sources. Their exclusive collaboration aims to invest in a project capable of generating approximately 2.3 GW of electricity and exporting it via an undersea high-voltage cable to meet Singapore's clean electricity needs from 2030.

On August 29, Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment granted  PTSC a marine resource assessment survey license.  Sembcorp also received a letter of intent from the Singapore Ministry of Industry and Trade endorsing the project.

The areas explored by the joint venture for wind power generation are located off the coast of Ba Ria - Vung Tau province. These offshore areas encompass two zones with a combined area of 89,027 hectares and a depth range of 20-35 meters (according to the Hon Dau tide gauge system). Sea area No. 2 includes two areas with a total area of 98,897 hectares and a depth range of  50-65 meters (according to the Hon Dau coordinate system).

Renewable energy, including wind and solar power, is becoming an increasingly important component of Vietnam's energy mix, alongside thermal power, hydropower, and gas turbines. As of May 2023, renewable energy sources accounted for 9% of the electricity structure in the North and 40.1% in the South. By the end of September 2023, these sources had contributed 29.13 billion kWh (equivalent to nearly 14% of the total power generation), with 70% coming from solar power and 30% from wind power.

In Power Development Plan VIII approved by the Prime Minister in May, Vietnam set ambitious targets, aiming to reach 21,880 MW of onshore wind power capacity by 2030 and 6,000 MW of offshore wind.