One more solar panel project faces ill fate
VietNamNet Bridge – A sizeable solar panel project in Thua Thien-Hue Province is now facing the possibility of being shelved as the foreign partner has withdrawn from what will become the third such large-scale project in the country facing the axe.
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A leader of the Thua Thien-Hue Industrial Parks Authority told the Daily that Global Sphere of the United Arab Emirates had shunned the US$300-million project. The source declined to pinpoint the reason behind the pullout, but other sources attributed the decision to financial constraints.
The solar panel complex project is established by Vietnam’s Worldtech in conjunction with Global Sphere under the form of business cooperation contract.
The project got off the ground in Phong Dien Industrial Park early this year, but has barely got going ever since.
However, the project remains valid now, and the local partner Worldtech is looking for another investor to replace the UAE company, the source said.
The Daily on Tuesday contacted Nguyen Trong Nguyen, general director of Global Sphere in Vietnam, over the withdrawal, but he refused to confirm the news.
Experts said that the project’s problem is caused by not only the financial capacity of the UAE partner, but also the market demand for solar panel products, similar to the case of the First Solar project in HCMC and another one in Quang Ngai Province.
Last year, the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Ngai announced that IC Energy had sought permission to delay a US$390-million solar panel project in the zone on grounds of poor market demands and technology issues. As stated in the project, all output from the plant at 120MW a year would be for export.
Since the project came to a halt last year until now, the investor has not made any move to resume the scheme, said Huynh Khanh Toan, head of Chu Lai Open Economic Zone Management Authority.
The most capital-intensive project of the kind is the US$1.2-billion solar panel project in HCMC by the U.S.-based First Solar, which has faced the same destiny.
In April 2011, First Solar decided to indefinitely put on hold the project in Cu Chi District, citing poor market demand and tough competition from similar products from China.
First Solar has appointed the consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield to transfer parts of the whole of workshops covering 11.3 hectares in Dong Nam IP in Cu Chi District, but the consultant has not found a buyer until now.