Hit by Covid-19: Wind power investors want FIT extension
Failing to put their projects into commercial operation before November 1, 2021, many wind power investors are facing difficulties and want an extension of the FIT (feed in tariff) price.
According to the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), 146 wind power projects have signed power purchase agreements with EVN, totaling more than 8,100MW in capacity. When the FIT mechanism for wind power expired on October 31, 2021, 84 wind power plants with a total capacity of 3,980.27 MW were recognized for COD commercial operation. The remaining projects are not subject to the FIT.
Many investors who have spent hundreds of millions of USD on wind power projects but failed to keep up with COD are very worried as the price mechanism for these projects is still unclear.
Some investors, including the Gia Lai Wind Power Investment and Development Joint Stock Company and Ninh Thuan-based Hanbaram Wind Power Joint Stock Company, have called for help from the National Assembly, the Prime Minister and relevant government agencies.
According to investors, the delay in completing procedures for COD recognition is due to the complicated development of the Covid-19 epidemic and a number of other reasons. For example, in March 2021, container ship Ever Given ran aground at the Suez Canal in Egypt, blocking the global shipping process, including wind power equipment to Vietnam.
Although the investor tried to arrange for the goods to arrive at Cat Lai port in Ho Chi Minh City in May 2021, soon after the 4th Covid wave broke out strongly in Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City implemented social distancing according to Directive 16 of the Government, so until September 2021, the device could leave the port. The process of transporting equipment from Ho Chi Minh City to Ninh Thuan and Gia Lai, as well as mobilizing manpower for construction and installation, was difficult because of strict social distancing measures in provinces. The time for foreign experts to enter Vietnam during this time also rose from six weeks to 10 weeks.
Nearly 40 other wind power projects such as Hung Hai Gia Lai and Yang Trung in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, Hoa Dong 2, Lac Hoa 2 are also in similar situation.
These investors said that without a timely policy to remove difficulties, not only investors but also domestic and international contractors are at risk of bankruptcy. They proposed that the Government consider extending the FIT mechanism for another 3-6 months.
The Feed in Tariff (FIT) incentive helps attract a private investors but there are still bottlenecks that causes them to hesitate to pour money into solar and wind power projects.