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Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight - July 2020

Freshfields' Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight keeps you up-to-date with the key business and legal developments in this sector. Please contact us if you would also like to receive either our Vietnam M&A Spotlight or our Vietnam Competition Law Spotlight.



  • Another go at equitisation. GENCO 2, one of the generating companies of Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), has been valued at US$2 billion, and its IPO is expected in December. GENCO 2 is among the six State corporations due for equitisation this year. Source: Vietnam News
  • Another go at asset disposals. The State Capital Management Committee presented a plan to sell various EVN power plants by 2030 to outside investors to raise capital for new investment projects, thereby reducing public debt. Source: Vnexplorer
  • New build. Vietnam’s second largest electricity producer,PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power),has officially approved an investment plan to build Nhon Trach 3&4 thermal power plants with a combined capacity of between 1,300-1,760MW. Source: Vietnam Plus

Renewable Energy

  • Solar flips. As of May 11, according to the Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Vietnam had 92 solar power projects and 10 wind power projects in commercial operation with a total capacity of nearly 6,000MW. A number of them have been transferred partially or wholly to foreign investors from Thailand, the Philippines, China, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Winds from Thailand. Thailand’s RATCH Group has taken action to invest in the 29.7MW Thanh Phong Wind Power Plant in Ben Tre province. Commercial operation of the project is scheduled for September 2021. Source: Kaohoon
  • Ceiling fans. The Prime Minister has issued a document to agree in principle with the proposal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on the ceiling price of 6.95 US cents per kWh for importing wind power from Laos. The rate, 18 per cent lower than domestic rates, will apply for 25 years and to plants that become operational before 31 December 2025. Source: Vietnam Energy
  • Tall tales. AC Energy, power generation arm of Philippines conglomerate Ayala Corporation and Hong Kong-based UPC Renewables have started two wind projects in the Mekong Delta with an aggregate capacity of 60MW, touted as the country’s tallest wind turbines. This is their first joint investment in Vietnam. Source: Manila Times

Oil & Gas

  • LNG. Delta Offshore Energy (DOE) joined a government working meeting to discuss the Bac Lieu LNG-to-power project’s timeline with a particular focus on completing the PPA, including grid interconnection agreement, by the end of this year. DOE stressed the urgency of aligning the PPA discussions immediately, in order to facilitate its signing by October 2020. Source: LNG Industry
  • Natural gas. A Vietnamese-Japanese consortium’s ambitious proposals on the US$1.32 billion gas-fired power plant in Can Tho may take some time to come true. Can Tho Department of Planning and Investment has turned to authorised agencies seeking their appraisal for the investment proposals on building the O Mon-II power plant after receiving the project dossier from Vietracimex-Marubeni Corporation. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Refinery (BSR). The COVID-19 pandemic had a marked impact on the shares of BSR, the operator of Dung Quat Oil Refinery. Due to the plunge, foreign investors have been selling down their holding in the company. From 4.74 per cent after the IPO, the foreign ownership ratio slipped to 2.4 per cent in late 2018, 1.34 in late 2019, and 0.07 per cent as of 2 June 2020. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Everything. US energy group Exxon Mobil is exploring the possibility of investingin Vietnam, including natural gas exploitation, petrochemical refining and electricity production from LNG. Source: Hanoi Times


  • BOT transport project relief. Despite the Ministry of Transport’s proposal to increase debt repayment periods, cut lending rates by 2-3 per cent, and stop banks from categorising these loans as bad debts, lenders to BOT transport project operators remain concerned. Shrinking revenue at BOT projects has been a hot issue for years. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • North-south merger. Details on a plan to merge the Hanoi Railway Transport JSC (Haraco) and the southern Saigon Railway Transport JSC (Saratrans) will be discussed at the upcoming Haraco shareholders meeting. Source: Vietnam News


  • Greenlight on the road. Construction of the 23-kilometer My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway, improving Ho Chi Minh City’s connectivity with the Mekong Delta, is slated to begin this November. When completed, it will be linked with the North-South Expressway. Source: Vnexpress International


  • Into the sunset. Qantas' budget arm Jetstar plans to cease being a shareholder in its Jetstar Pacific joint venture with Vietnam Airlines, subject to approvals. Vietnam Airlines will buy out the 30 per cent that Qantas owns in Jetstar Pacific to increase its ownership share to 98 per cent from the current 68.95 per cent. Vietnam Airlines plans to rename Jetstar to Pacific Airlines (the original name). Source: Saigoneer


  • Seaport ambitions fail to hold water. Despite some improvements, seaport joint ventures between foreign partners and state-owned shipping giant Vietnam Maritime Corporation continued to incur losses in the first quarter of this year, rendering profit targets practically unreachable amid the current global health emergency. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • International ambitions. Aviation authorities are considering upgrading Tho Xuan Airport in the central province of Thanh Hoa into an international airport. The government wants to make it an industrial province focused on oil refining and petrochemicals, garments, footwear, cement, agriculture and fisheries. Source: Vnexpress International

Natural Resources

  • Tungsten. Masan Tungsten Company Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vietnam’s Masan Resources Corporation, has completed the legal procedures to acquire the tungsten business of Germany’s H.C. Starck Corporation. Source: Vietnam News


  • Fertiliser. Tax Law No 71/2014/QH13, which treats fertiliser as a VAT-free item, has become a double-edged sword, as after five years of implementation it has not reduced domestic fertiliser prices but instead hindered production and investment in the sector. Source: Vietnam Plus