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Rooftop solar energy attracts Oman investors

Oman Investment Fund and CME signing the deal

Oman Investment Fund (VOI) has made a strategic investment in Copper Mountain Energy Company (CME) and signed a strategic cooperation agreement in the renewable energy sector.

Vietnam’s commercial and industrial rooftop solar energy is forecasted to grow significantly and has attracted many reputed names from the world – with the national grid and industrial companies using renewable energy the biggest beneficiaries.

In the first eight months of 2020, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has mobilised 7.27 billion kWh of renewable energy, including 6.39 billion kWh from solar power, around 2.94 times as much as in the same period in 2019.

The total capacity connected to the grid in the two years of 2019 and 2020 of the whole of Vietnam was expected to reach nearly 12GWp which contributed to nearly 12 per cent of the renewable energy in Vietnam’s electricity output.

Moreover, Vietnam has reported the fastest growth in the renewable energy field in Southeast Asia, especially the rooftop solar PV market. However, the total output is still quite low accumulated less than 800MWp accumulated in August 2020. Despite huge growth potential in Vietnam – the potential capacity of the commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop solar segment could reach over 20GWp in this year.

After a number of reputed companies such as Sembcorp (Singapore), Total (France), and TPG (USA) joined the Vietnamese rooftop solar scene, the market welcomes a new joiner – Oman Investment Authority (the sovereign fund of the Kingdom of Oman) through its joint venture with the Vietnamese government, Vietnam-Oman Investment Fund (VOI). VOI has made a strategic investment in Copper Mountain Energy Company (CME) and signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement in the renewable energy sector.

The historic agreement between VOI and CME Energy Company was signed in the presence of Saleh Mohamed Ahmed Al Suqri, the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman in Vietnam. Under this agreement, VOI and CME will focus on developing the market share of rooftop solar energy in the C&I segment, especially Vietnamese and foreign-invested enterprises with the large demand for renewable energy and applying technology in energy saving.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Oman in Vietnam, leaders of VOI Fund and CME visited the project invested by CME at Saigon Cargo Services Corporation SCSC – located in Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City

According to this agreement, VOI will support CME in both capital and market expansion that leads CME to become a renewable energy supply platform not only for Omani-invested enterprises and also for Vietnamese enterprises, as well as to expand to the ASEAN.

On the signing date, the Ambassador said, “We have high expectations for VOI’s investments in infrastructure in general, especially the renewable energy sector because this energy solution is not only a global matter in order to help to reduce CO2 emissions but also directly solve the electricity shortage problem in Vietnam. Therefore, these projects and investments are strongly encouraged by the governments of the two countries.”

“The strong development of C&I rooftop solar energy will be important to Vietnam in the context of many multinational corporations and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for brands around the world are currently present and many will continue to move into Vietnam,” the Ambassador added. They will need a minimum amount of renewables committed with end-users. Furthermore, the appropriate policies and human resources make Vietnam ready to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and also become a reliable destination in areas for global brands.

In the energy sector, VOI is an experienced investor who successfully invests in Vietnam with the Vinh Son-Song Hinh Hydropower project with a capacity of 66MW and solar farm projects in Long An with a capacity of 141MWp. Not only to expand of investment in the field of rooftop solar power with CME but also VOI aims to fully participate in all other segments of the other environmentally friendly energy market such as wind power and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

Sharing with the newspaper, Nguyen Xuan Giao, managing director of VOI said, “As a representative for the sovereign investment of the Sultanate of Oman in Vietnam, we would like to implement a comprehensive investment strategy in the renewable energy sector in Vietnam, we have appreciated the help of the Vietnamese government and related local authorities, VOI always would like to accompany with reliable and capable local enterprises in this challenging journey. Because investing in infrastructure requires long-term vision and the ability to execute professionally on a daily basis.”

CME looks for a list of important factors for success and a strong commitment in investment partners. Therefore, after the success with two solar farm projects in Long An province, VOI decided to accompany CME to expand investment in commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop solar energy market. The joint venture aims to ensure a leading position in the market which is promising but also requires high-quality and strong capacity in execution. Moreover, the sides aim to make CME the leading C&I rooftop solar energy platform, not only in Vietnam.

There are many advantages to rooftop solar energy such as releasing on site load capacity for industrial areas with severe power shortage, reducing transmission loss and pressure on transmission networks that have yet to be upgraded by the EVN, and especially creating a clean energy source.

Companies could obtain green certificates which aims at entering high requirement markets such as North America and Europe. The industrial factory rooftop solar energy market is expected to grow in the near future and contribute to Vietnam’s fast industrial development, especially in the FDI sector, and continues to attract global names such as Apple, Samsung, Intel, Adidas, Nike, Ikea, and Uniqlo, among others. The growth of this market with many domestic investors and the world’s leading energy corporations would expect to bring about many new developments and products. In the end, the beneficiaries are not only industrial enterprises, the national grid but also national competitiveness.

Diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Oman started in 1992 and have been progressing for up to 28 years. The export turnover between the two countries has increased by 122 times. The two parties also signed seven agreements in a variety of areas including promoting economic growth, trading, and renewable energy.

Established in 2008 on the basis of the cooperation between the government of Vietnam and the government of the Sultanate of Oman, VOI is a reputable investment fund with many successful investment projects in Vietnam, VOI is a platform to attract investment capital from the Middle East into Vietnam and so far VOI has disbursed more than $300 million in Vietnam.

VOI’s investment focuses on Vietnam’s competitive growth sectors such as energy, especially renewable energy, industrial zone infrastructure, water infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, high-tech agriculture, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, education, and information technology.