Japan-headed power utility and retailer eREX Co. Ltd has provided a progress update on the company's various biomass projects and commitments in Vietnam, the company's first overseas investment.
Please reload the page
Do you want to read the whole article?
- Six editions per year
- Full access to all digital content
- The E-magazine Bioenergy international
- And more ...
According to eREX, the projects are In line with its 2030 vision “to become a pioneer in the new era of electric power with renewable energy at its core”.
In addition, as one of the priority initiatives of the mid-term business plan to “create new innovations for decarbonization” based on the balance between de-carbonization and stable energy supply, eREX is promoting large-scale fuel developments in Vietnam; a transition of coal-fired power generation to renewable sources, and developing power generation businesses in Vietnam, Cambodia, and other Asian countries.
A 1.2 GW biomass power project pipeline
On August 23, 2022, eREX held discussions with Nguyen Hong Dien, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade who was visiting Japan, regarding Vietnam’s energy policy and toward decarbonization.
Topics included biomass fuel development business – including the construction of biomass pellet plants, the construction of biomass power plants, biomass co-firing, and single-fuel firing at coal-fired power plants, using Vietnamese agricultural- and forestry residues as raw materials.
The eREX biomass business developments are based on Vietnam’s 8th National Power Development Plan (PDP8) and comprise 14 new biomass power plants in 12 provinces totaling 1.2 GW and the transition of existing coal-fired power plants to biomass co-firing and single-fuel firing totaling 1.0 GW by 2030.
eREX explained the roadmap for each of its businesses in detail such as the construction of three biomass power units scheduled to start in May 2023, while “the entire power generation plan is expected to be approved soon”.
Furthermore, the Company said that “the construction of a biomass power plant in Hau Giang Province, which is planned under PDP7 (7th National Power Development Plan), will start in September this year”, along with the project to promote biomass co-firing and single-fuel-firing at existing coal-fired power plants.
At the same time, in discussions with Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), both countries promised to cooperate in supporting the transition of coal-fired power plants to biomass.
I understand that eREX is very positive about the business in Vietnam. I hope that eREX will strongly promote the business and make it a reality. I hope that the project will be solidly carried out in cooperation with Vietnamese companies. In addition, I hope that training and education will be provided in Japan, as it will be important to develop human resources who can work at biomass power plants, said Nguyen Hong Dien, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade.
Develop locally sourced biomass fuels
On August 27, 2022, in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, at a conference under the theme of “Potential – Opportunity – Cooperation for Development” in the presence of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to study development projects using agriculture and forestry as raw materials and the construction of biomass power plants in five provinces of Vietnam – Yang Bai, Tinh Quang, Bac Kan, Lai Chau, and Ha Giang.
Approximately 700 people attended the conference, including leaders from ministries and local governments, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and private-sector companies from Japan and abroad.
Hitoshi Honna, Representative Director, and President of eREX was the only speaker from the private sector to make a presentation in front of the Prime Minister, based on the aforementioned discussion with Nguyen Hong Dien, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, about the Company’s fuel developments, power plant plans, and biomass co-firing at coal-fired power plants in Vietnam under PDP8.
eREX’s plan to convert unused agricultural and forestry residues in the northern region of Vietnam into electric energy is very useful as Vietnam’s energy policy. We would also like to develop land to revitalize impoverished areas and collaborate with local communities to jointly develop fuels for effective use as locally produced energy for local consumption. Furthermore, I am convinced that co-firing biomass fuels at existing coal-fired power plants is an important measure to achieve de-carbonization and will greatly contribute to Vietnam’s green growth, said Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính.
Strengthen social and educational ties
eREX reaffirmed that it will continue to “strengthen the relationship of trust between Vietnam and the Company with a view to realizing future energy businesses in Vietnam.”
As part of social contribution activities in the fast-growing economy of Vietnam, eREX will offer a “Scholarship for Human Resource Development Program”.
Under this program, young administrative officials who are expected to become future leaders in Vietnam will study abroad at Japanese educational institutions.
It is expected that the human resources developed through this program will contribute to the future growth of Vietnam in various fields, as well as promote mutual understanding and friendly relations between Japan and Vietnam, and contribute to the building of human networks.
Through its renewable energy business, eREX will engage in various social contribution activities, such as educational support, in addition to its business of developing together with local communities in Vietnam.