The plant, located in the Van Phong Special Economic Zone in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province, is a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project. It will sell electricity to EVN, Vietnam’s state-owned power company, over a period of 25 years. Total project costs are expected to reach about 280 billion yen, and commercial operation is expected by the end of 2023.

Vietnam’s electric power demand has risen sharply in line with rapid economic growth, and resolving the serious power shortages expected in future has become a pressing issue, notes Sumitomo. Under its revised National Power Development Plan VII, originally formulated in 2016, the Vietnamese government is striving to meet a power demand that is growing about 10% annually by increasing the country’s installed capacity to 96 500 MW by 2025 and to 129 500 MW by 2030.

While Sumitomo’s general policy is “to refrain from building new coal-fired power plants” the company says “it has decided to make case-by-case assessments of projects deemed essential for the economic and industrial development of local communities that conform to policies established by Japan and the host country with due consideration for international efforts and trends toward mitigating climate change”, and it was on this basis that this Vietnam project was undertaken. Sumitomo “remains committed to dependably supplying the energy vital to economic and industrial development in Vietnam and to helping improve living standards and resolve power shortages.”