Vietnam’s first privately-owned power plant has moved a step closer to fruition, as Delta Offshore Energy chose Bechtel to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) services for a proposed 3,200-MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility.
The power station, sited in Bac Lieu province in the Mekong Delta about 155 miles south of Ho Chi Minh City, will be fueled with liquified natural gas (LNG). The plant will feature four single-shaft General Electric (GE) 9HA.02 H-class turbines. Vietnamese officials have said they expect the $3-billion project will further economic development in the region, which already is becoming an industrial hub. The Bac Lieu Province People’s Council approved the plant’s 70-hectare (173 acres) footprint earlier this year.
“This power plant is a game changer for the Bac Lieu province,” said Scott Osborne, Bechtel’s general manager for infrastructure, Asia Pacific, after the FEED contract was announced July 6. “We want to make a difference in supporting Mekong Delta and Vietnam by creating jobs and training, working with local businesses, and providing new opportunities for those in the region. We are proud to be a part of Vietnam’s future, contributing to its energy security, trade, and economy.”
Vietnam has acknowledged its need for more power generation to supply increasing demand for electricity. Officials have said they want to reduce their reliance on coal-fired power, which last year accounted for about 38% of Vietnam’s generation. Renewable energy, along with more gas-fired generation, is a major part of that plan.
“Bac Lieu is ready for development, and the authorities there have shown their willingness to adopt progressive technologies,” said Ian Nguyen, co-founder and managing director of Singapore- and Houston, Texas-based Delta Offshore Energy, in a statement. “We saw this when they chose to install the region’s first offshore wind farm. With our LNG-to-Power project, it will shine as the gateway for change in the Mekong Delta.”
Delta Offshore Energy earlier this year said the U.S. Dept. of Commerce is providing commercial advocacy for the Bac Lieu installation, which includes the 3.2-GW power plant, a floating LNG receiving terminal, a floating regasification plant, a 22-mile pipeline, and associated infrastructure onshore and offshore. Strategic partners in the project include Bechtel, GE Power, and McDermott International.
Nguyen, in discussing the project earlier this year, said, “The power plant will help bring energy security to Vietnam, aid the country’s transition away from coal, and open the door to the future by facilitating the transition to renewable energy through its 500-kV transmission line, which will provide the grid connection for alternative energy sources like wind and solar farms on its route through the Mekong Delta. Building on the generous and positive goodwill of Bac Lieu, we are pressing ahead full steam and firing across all cylinders to ensure the project objectives are on time and on budget.”
Delta Offshore Energy in announcing the contract with Bechtel also said it is negotiating a power purchase agreement between the plant and the Vietnam Electricity Authority. The Bac Lieu project is part of Vietnam’s national “Power Development Plan 7.”
“Bechtel is a premier engineering, procurement, construction and project management company for large-scale infrastructure projects like our 3,200-MW power plant,” said Bobby Quintos, co-founder and managing director of Delta Offshore Energy. “Their appointment assures Delta and the country of Vietnam a first-class power plant that will be reliable for the next 25 years.”
Delta Offshore Energy has said it expects to keep the project on the approved National Plan timeline, which calls for the first 800-MW block to be operational by early 2024, with all four blocks online by year-end 2024.
In addition to GE and Bechtel, other companies supplying equipment and services to Bac Lieu include Stena AB, which is providing the floating jettyless LNG terminal solution. JP Morgan is the debt structuring agent and mandated lead arranger for project finance. Black and Veatch is serving as technical advisor. Howe Robinson Partners is the LNG shipping advisor.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).