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Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight

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.


Draft Masterplan for Airport Development

In late May 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) released a draft proposal for the 2021 Airports Development Masterplan for public comments.[1] The Ministry of Transport (MOT) submitted the draft to the Prime Minister in June 2021.[2]

Current situation

  • Vietnam currently has 22 operating airports, including 9 international airports (Noi Bai, Van Don, Cat Bi, Phu Bai, Da Nang, Cam Ranh, Tan Son Nhat, Can Tho and Phu Quoc) and 13 domestic airports (Dien Bien, Tho Xuan, Vinh, Dong Hoi, Chu Lai, Phu Cat, Tuy Hoa, Pleiku, Buon Ma Thuot, Lien Khuong, Ca Mau, Rach Gia and Con Dao). All the airports are dual purpose, serving both military and civil users.
  • Outstanding issues include overloaded capacity, difficulty in raising capital outside of the State budget and delays in building supporting infrastructure. These issues arise from (i) complicated and inconsistent procedures for converting airport land from military land into civil use land; (ii) operational issues following the privatisation of Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) and the transfer of the State capital in ACV from the MOT to the Commission for Management of State Capital; and (iii) the incomplete legal framework for selection of investors to build aviation infrastructure facilities.

Proposal for airport development in 2021-2030

  • Airports capacity by 2030 will be 278 million passengers per year, implying an average annual growth of 8.1%, and 4.1 million tons of cargo per year, implying an average annual growth of 10.3%.
  • The investment capital requirement for 2021-2030will be about US$17.5 billion.

Proposed projects

By 2050, Vietnam will have 29 operating airports. Additional airports will include Long Thanh International Airport, Lai Chau, Sa Pa, Quang Tri, Phan Thiet and Cao Bang.

Below is the list of projects for 2021-2030 in order of priority.




Investment capital

(billion VND)




Long Thanh (New)

Dong Nai




Tan Son Nhat (T3 terminal)

Ho Chi Minh City




Noi Bai (T3 terminal)





Phan Thiet (New)

Phan Thiet




Dien Bien (Expansion)

Dien Bien




Con Dao (Expansion)

Ba Ria – Vung Tau




Sa Pa (New)

Lao Cai




Cat Bi (Expansion)

Hai Phong




Cam Ranh (Expansion)

Khanh Hoa




Phu Cat (Expansion)

 Binh Dinh




Da Nang (Expansion)

Da Nang




Chu Lai (Expansion)

Quang Nam




Phu Bai (Expansion)





Dong Hoi (Expansion)

Quang Binh




Tho Xuan (Expansion)

Thanh Hoa




Vinh (Expansion)

Nghe An





  • Saving the flag carrier. Amid the difficulties caused by COVID-19, the choices the Vietnamese government makes will affect the future development of the aviation industry. Tony Foster, our managing partner, analyses the case of Vietnam Airlines. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Shifting the flag carrier. Vietnam Airlines plans to form a cargo carrier as part of its effort to shore up its business against Covid-19 problems. The carrier has removed the seats from seven of its passenger aircrafts and converted them into cargo carriers. In June its cargo transport revenue, which normally accounted for 10 per cent of the total, surpassed that of passenger transport. Source: Vn Express International
  • Selling. Vietnam’s budget airline Vietjet Aviation has received shareholder approval to sell a stake of up to 15 per cent via a private placement and raise US$300 million through an international bond sale to boost its financial position. It has not disclosed the timing or the buyer’s identity. Source: Reuters


  • Let’s try again - O Mon III. The O Mon III thermal power plant in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho is facing lingering issues related to investment policy, leading to protracted delays in the Block B gas project.EVN recently proposed to the Prime Minister an investment plan for the power plant in a bid to remove the bottlenecks for the gas complex, but its approval has been delayed to an inability to identify the agency responsible for this project.  Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Let’s all try - Vung Ang III. A joint venture between T&T Group and PV Power has submitted a bid to develop Vung Ang 3 as an IPP with total investment capital of US$3.5 billion. Numerous other investors have expressed interest in developing the plant, including a joint venture of Siemens Energy, Korean Electric Power Corporation, and Power Engineering Consulting JSC 2, which has proposed a $4.5 billion project. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Back on (a long) track. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has requested the prime minister’s approval to develop the Metro Line 3 project (Hanoi Railway Station – Hoang Mai Station) with investment capital of US$1.75 billion.The majority of the capital will be mobilised through loans from the Asian Development Bank, the French Development Agency and Germany’s KfW. The MPI requested the government to assign Hanoi People’s Committee to co-operate with those banks to conduct the pre-feasibility study for the project to serve as the basis for the implementation of the next steps. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Offers please.The northern province of Quang Ninh is calling for investment in a 1,500MW LNG-fired power plant with capital of US$2 billion, scheduled to be put into operation in 2027. To invest in this project, investors must have sufficient financial capacity and experience, must commit to not requiring a guarantee from the power purchaser, and must negotiate with the Vietnam Electricity Group for the purchase of power on their own. Investors also have to commit to not sell or transfer the project during its construction period. Source: The Saigon Times

Oil & Gas

  • Green manoeuvre. Spanish oil and gas company Repsol has agreed to sell its operated assets in Malaysia and an upstream block in Vietnam to a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Hibiscus Petroleum for US$212.5 million. The sale of these upstream assets supports Repsol’s rationalisation of its global portfolio, streamlining its presence from 25 to 14 core countries. The completion of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of conditions. Source: Energy Voice

Renewable Energy

  • Cool cows. Singapore-based utility company SP Group and BCG Energy announced a joint venture to invest in rooftop solar and explore other renewable energy projects in Vietnam. As part of the JV’s first rooftop solar project, it will work with Vinamilk, Vietnam’s largest dairy company, to install a combined 25MW of rooftop solar across its nine factories and seven farms. SP established an office in Ho Chi Minh City last November and this partnership marks SP’s first joint venture in Vietnam. Source: Bizhub
  • The fair breeze blew. Ayala-led AC Energy Corporation and its project partners will be injecting US$445 million to develop wind farm projects with an aggregate capacity of 440MW. Vietnam is now AC Energy’s largest market outside the Philippines. Source: The Manila Times
  • White foam flew. German renewables developer WPD has entered the Vietnamese market with a deal to co-develop a 103.5MW wind energy project in Kon Tum province withLevanta Renewables of Singapore. The project, located around 780km southeast of Hanoi, has been initiated by Levanta Renewables with support from its Vietnamese partners. Source: The Asset
  • Into the floating solar sea. Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola has acquired renewable energy assets in Vietnam from German SOWITEC Group. SOWITEC Vietnam has a 550MW project pipeline comprising five onshore wind farms and a 50MW floating solar project. No financial details have been disclosed. Vietnam, which foresees the installation of more than 20,000MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, is an important new market for Iberdrola. Source:Renewables Now