Germany’s Enercon and Denmark’s Vestas have won significant orders in Vietnam, as the Southeast Asian country’s wind energy boom continues to help turbine manufacturers compensate for weaknesses in some of their former core markets such as Germany.

Enercon won a massive order to supply wind turbines with a capacity of 310MW for onshore wind projects in Vietnam to be implemented by the end of next year, and already is in talks for further projects after that date.

The contracts cover the supply of 74 of the manufacturer’s E-138 EP3 E2/4.2 MW turbines, spread across six projects.

“We are pleased that our customers are putting their trust in us by placing these additional orders," says Steffen Brauns, regional manager for Asia-Pacific at Enercon sales international. The company already had seen 90MW worth of its turbines installed in the south-east Asian country this year.

“Since entering the market in Vietnam in 2018, Enercon has proven itself as a consistently reliable partner with high quality standards. That has paid off.”

Vietnam is one of the new international core markets Enercon entered in 2018 when it opted for a much more aggressive global expansion as its German home market started to decline dramatically.

The company this week announced it will discontinue to source turbine towers from a plant in Madgeburg, Germany, of a tower maker closely associated with Enercon, a move that once more showed the rising importance of international markets for the embattled OEM.

Wind power projects in Vietnam until October 2021 will receive a higher feed-in tariff, prompting operators and owners to rush building projects before that date.

However, Enercon stresses that it also sees positive prospects in Vietnam for the years after 2021.

“Even after the added subsidies for wind energy run out in 2021, the favourable political framework conditions for renewable energy sources in general and for wind energy in particular can still be expected to continue,” Brauns said.

“We are already conducting positive talks with customers on cooperation in projects after 2021.”

Vestas projects in Mekong wetlands

Much larger rival Vestas also continued its expansion into Vietnam, with a 67MW order for two projects that will feature 16 of its V150-4.2MW machines (delivered in different power ratings). They will be placed on towers with a 162-metre hub height.

The projects are located in wetland areas of the Mekong Delta in southern parts of the country and surrounded by aquaculture shrimp farms.

The sites’ limited space and complex infrastructure requires a specific transportation and installation solution to construct the projects. Vestas therefore has developed a solution using a specialised tower crane to significantly reduce the hardstand space necessary to erect the turbines.

The order also includes a 20-year Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) service agreement, designed to maximise energy production for both sites. With a yield-based availability guarantee, Vestas will provide the customer with long-term business case certainty.

“These projects feature the tallest towers in Vietnam and showcases Vestas’ ability to optimise the value proposition for our client and develop site-specific solutions for all wind sites,” said Clive Turton, president of Vestas Asia Pacific.

“With the strong traction we are gaining in the country over the last few months, I am confident that we will be playing a big part in the future development of Vietnam’s renewable energy market”.

The project and customer are undisclosed at the customer’s request, and are slated for a commissioning in the third quarter of 2021.