PowerChina’s Gusts of Green Development in ASEAN

In recent years, Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) has become committed to expanding the Southeast Asian market through clean energy development, which has contributed to the improvement of local living standards and facilitated win-win cooperation.

Hoisting wind turbine towers at Tra Vinh II Wind Farm, Vietnam.

New Beach Attraction in Vietnam

Ba Dong Beach (Biển Ba Động) is located in the Coastal County (Huyện Duyên Hải) of Tra Vinh Province (Tỉnh Trà Vinh), about a three-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. In the beach resort, 12 giant offshore wind turbines (OWTs) operate like a tourist attraction, luring many visitors to take photos at the new scenic spot. Built by PowerChina, the OWTs are part of the company’s Tra Vinh II Offshore Wind Power Project.

On October 21, 2021, the Tra Vinh II Offshore Wind Power Project obtained a certificate for commercial operation from Vietnam’s power authority to become PowerChina’s first overseas offshore wind power project to begin commercial operation. The project is also the third offshore wind farm of 106 wind power projects built in Vietnam in 2021 to be connected to the power grid at full capacity.

The 12 wind turbines are Goldwind OWTs with a unit capacity of 4.5MW, and each generates 180 million kWh of electricity every year, capable of meeting the average annual electricity demand of 90,000 local residents.

Wang Xinjin, manager of the project, noted that a highlight was it was the first in Vietnam to apply monopile foundation OWTs to enable a relatively short period of offshore construction. Because the OWTs are located in a scenic spot, builders dug underground cable trenches and dam-crossing tunnels to avoid disturbing the local ecological environment and minimize the influence of construction on the beach resort.

Now, the rotating turbines are a new attraction for the beach, and the resort’s roads were also widened thanks to the project. The tourist flow has increased and more shops have opened, boosting local tourism and creating more job opportunities.

The project was Vietnam’s first power grid-connected offshore wind power project undertaken by a Chinese company. Last year, it was listed as a model new energy project along with nine other structures. Now considered a reference for local governments to develop offshore wind power and pursue offshore-to-open sea development, the clean power project is a part of the “PowerChina Contribution” for Vietnam to achieve its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

PowerChina’s total contract value with Vietnam has exceeded US$6 billion, making it the country’s largest power general contractor with the highest contract value. Statistics show that from 2018 to 2021, PowerChina’s onshore wind power projects in Vietnam numbered 12 with a total installed capacity of 769 MW. The company’s offshore wind power projects and photovoltaic power projects in the country were eight and 23, with installed capacity of 1,117 MW and 2,681 MW, respectively.

Du Haiyang, chief representative of PowerChina Vietnam, noted that in coming years, wind power development is expected to contribute 25 percent of energy transformation in Southeast Asian countries. That proportion, however, entails not only abundant wind resources but advanced technology and high market demand.

Vietnam has great sea wind resource potential thanks to its long coastlines. The country’s economic growth momentum in recent years has facilitated the development of offshore wind power projects. The government of Vietnam has already planned and built many offshore wind farms, further improving both natural and market conditions.

A neighbor of China, Vietnam is also an ideal place to apply China’s equipment and technologies. More affordable prices and more advanced technologies and equipment will speed up the development of wind power in Vietnam.

Providing Clean Water in the Philippines

The Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project is located in Rizal Province, around 20 kilometers northeast of Manila, capital of the Philippines. It was PowerChina’s first large-scale hydropower infrastructure project in the country.

The Old Wawa Dam in the project’s location was built in the early 20th century. Poor maintenance had left it unable to retain water effectively during flood seasons. The new Wawa Dam was planned to play a critical role in preventing floods in downstream regions. 

Meanwhile, designers formulated an ecological system to guarantee uninterrupted migration and reproduction of fish navigating the river. In addition to monitoring water quality in real time, builders took a series of measures to protect the water environment and recover local vegetation.

The project has greatly improved local living standards.

According to Hu Jing from the project’s Department of Comprehensive Affairs, the inhabitants of the project’s location used to be plagued by poor transportation because of its remoteness. The project paved and widened the surrounding roads while building the dam. Now, local residents are more frequently seen taking motorbikes to get around and go camping. Those who previously lived in thatched shacks have moved into houses that are safer and more comfortable.

In addition to improving local transportation, the project’s staff provided a local primary school with access to the internet, donated school supplies, and built new school facilities to bolster local education.

To boost local employment and the development of related industries, the project employed many people living in close vicinity. Med-lyn Moreno from Pintong Bokawe village was hired to work on the project. He joined the project at the very beginning of construction, and the job helped improve his family’s economic situation. His four children who had dropped out of school because of financial difficulties went back to class. A better future awaits Moreno and his family.

Zhao Zhihao, authorized representative of PowerChina Philippines, noted that the Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2024. The structure will provide 80,000 cubic meters of water per day in the primary operation stage, and total provision should exceed 500,000 cubic meters by 2025. 

While greatly relieving pressure on water supply in eastern Manila, the project will also provide stable and clean water for many other water-consuming activities such as municipal development, fire-fighting, and greenbelt watering to mitigate water shortages at peak times and during drought seasons.

The Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project has been listed as part of the Philippines’ flagship infrastructure development program, Build, Build, Build. 

“The project, which is highly important to local living conditions and relief from flooding in rainy seasons, has won great support from the Philippine government,” said Hu Jing. “In the first stage of construction, the government offered support in financing, establishment of joint ventures, and issuance of construction approval. Philippine authorities also rolled out measures to facilitate procedures for Chinese engineers to work on-site and the import of equipment and related materials.”

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