What challenges is Vietnam facing in terms of electricity?
Electricity demand increases by 10% every year. Consequently, Vietnam could face a shortage in the very near future. Yet if the use of fossil fuels increases to meet this demand, the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions could be 3 times higher by 2030.
Renewable energies, excluding hydropower, currently only account for 2.4% of the installed capacity. We therefore have a role to play in reversing the trend and encouraging actors to invest in renewables!
Another challenge is the transmission and distribution of this electricity, particularly in rural areas: for example, end-of-line drops in voltage mean that the full capacity of solar and wind projects cannot be exploited in these areas.
You have been working with AFD for nearly twenty years: What achievements have marked you the most?
The first operation with AFD dates back to the 2000s with the rural electrification project in the Mekong Delta. EVN’s direct relations with AFD started in 2008, with a first non-sovereign loan [Editor’s Note: loan to local authorities and public or private companies without a State guarantee] for the Huoi Quang hydropower plant project, which reduces CO2 emissions by 1,120,000 t eq. a year. In 2012, we subsequently received sovereign financing for the extremely important Pleiku-Cau Bong high-voltage line between the center and south of the country, which has increased the available power capacity while reducing losses during transmission.
Other large-scale projects with non-sovereign financing are ongoing, such as the construction of the Se San 4 solar power plant (one of the first large-scale plants with its capacity of 49 MWp) or the expansion of the Ialy hydropower plant with an additional capacity of 360 MW.
All these projects contribute to Vietnam’s renewable energy development strategy, in line with the Vietnamese Government’s commitment to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Is AFD’s support confined to project financing?
No, it isn’t. AFD also supports our structuring and our growth! We have achieved financial successes thanks to this partnership: for example, we have signed our first loan without a State guarantee. This partnership has also helped us position ourselves on international financial markets: EVN is now rated BB, meaning we can issue international bonds to diversify our sources of financing.
Finally, we have received technical assistance to improve our capacity to prepare and implement projects, but also to meet the requirements of international players.