By Thu Tam – Translated by Anh Quan
Proposal for hiking
This increase can be attributed to a hike occurring in the price of education services, coupled with the impact of natural disasters which have recently struck the country’s central provinces.
These statistics indicate that October’s CPI recorded an annual increase of 2.47%, while the average CPI during the opening ten months of the year rose by 3.71% compared to the same period last year.
Among 11 different categories of goods and services, six witnessed rising prices, including education which rose by 1.35%, housing and construction materials with a rise of 0.29%, beverages and tobacco up by 0.08%, garment and textiles up 0.06%, medicine and medical services up 0.01%. In addition, maintenance and home repair services saw increase of 0.15% and 0.2%, respectively.
Furthermore, other commodity and services groups also witnessed a decrease in their price indexes, including culture, entertainment, and tourism which fell by 0.18%, food and catering services which dropped by 0.13%, transportation down 0.08%, and the post and telecommunications group which declined by 0.03%. Elsewhere, the prices of home appliances and equipment remained unchanged.
Domestic gold prices also saw fluctuations in line with the global prices of the gold price index in October, with a decrease of 1.1% compared to September and an increased of 30.91% from December, 2019, up 29.63% from the same period last year.
According to the GSO’s report, the inflation rate in October increased by 0.07% compared to September and 1.88% from the same period last year, with ten-month inflation rising by 2.52% on-year.
Under the adjusted plan, the Doppler Weather Radar station will be built on an area of 1,600 square metres to the north of the airport. A multi-storey car park will also be built, which will be connected to a new passenger terminal to be built soon.
Under the plan, the airport will cover a total area of 791ha, an increase of 250ha compared to the existing airport area of 545ha.
About 19ha of military defence land has been handed over for building aircraft parking aprons.
The additional land of 250ha includes 18ha of additional national defence land, 35ha of land in the southern area, and 171ha of land in the northern area of the airport.
An additional eight taxiways will be built to expedite aircraft take-offs and landings.
At least 56 aprons will be added in front of the new passenger terminal T3 and in the southwest area of the airport, increasing the total number of aprons to 106.
In the northern area of the airport, a reservoir with an advanced pumping station to prevent flooding will also be built.
In addition, roads connecting to the airport will be built as soon as possible under the city’s transport plan.
To ensure the progress of the expansion plan, priority will be given to the construction of a new international terminal T3.
According to a proposal by the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the third passenger terminal with a total investment of more than 11.43 trillion VND (494.4 million USD) will be built in the south of the airport. ACV will invest in building the new terminal, using 100 percent of its corporate capital.
The existing passenger terminals T1 and T2 will be expanded to accommodate an additional 30 million passengers per year by 2030.
The new terminal capable of handling 20 million passengers per year will take 43 months to build, according to ACV.
In total, the airport is expected to have a total capacity of up to 50 million passengers per year by 2030.
Tan Son Nhat, the country’s busiest airport, has been seriously overloaded, both on the ground and in the air for years, forcing many flights to wait in the air to land.
In a related issue, work began early this year on the Long Thanh International Airport in the neighbouring province of Dong Nai, expected to ultimately handle 60-70 million passengers per year. It’s expected to ease the overloading at Tan Son Nhat airport.
However, the huge airport will not be completed until at least 2025 because of “a lack of capital and slow compensation progress,” experts have warned.
Tan Son Nhat will remain the main airport hub in the southern region even after Long Thanh airport becomes operational.
|Baker McKenzie’s managing partner Frederick Burke and special counsel Nguyen Thanh Hai|
The contents of the decision circulated on January 21 is in draft form, while final contents are subject to further reviews by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), and consultations with other relevant ministries before the prime minister’s final signature.
This draft decision would apply the selection mechanism on a long-term basis. Bidding rounds will be conducted based on a so-called Renewable Energy Development Plan formulated by the MoIT for each 5-year period. A more specific plan will be circulated on a biannual basis.
The main investor selection mechanism is a so-called “competitive selection of investors based on project location”, which means that: (i) project location will be chosen/determined by the governmental authorities; and (ii) investors must submit bids to compete for securing the project development right at that pre-selected project location.
Under this draft decision, the bidding mechanism would be conducted at the local level by provincial-level people’s committees, rather than by the MoIT at nationwide level.
As regards power sale/purchase price, the current draft provides that the ceiling price will be subject to a specific pricing framework, which will be prepared and issued by the MoIT on a biannual basis.
In addition, the draft decision proposes detailed regulations on eligibility requirements for investors participating in this mechanism, bidding procedures and requirements for selected investors. Notably, it also makes a reference to a model power purchase agreement (PPA) template, but as the full text of such template has yet to be completed, it remains uncertain as to whether there would be any or significant improvements to the risk allocation and bankability of this proposed template for new renewable energy projects under this reverse auction mechanism.
|The prime minister’s draft decision includes a bidding mechanism conducted at the local level rather than by the MoIT at nationwide level, Photo: shutterstock|
There are specific intentions under this draft which relate to overall legal mechanisms and for renewable projects in Vietnam, such as upcoming regulations related to the solar auction/competitive bidding programme; necessary legal considerations for existing and newly proposed solar farms to best prepare for participation in competitive selection mechanisms; specific selection procedures as proposed under the draft decision; and specific opportunities and challenges, as well as legal and practical solutions for development and investment in greenfield solar power projects in Vietnam.
The investor selection mechanism proposed under this decision applies to all solar power projects directly connected to the national power grid. Under the draft, a solar power project may be approved for development through either competitive selection of investors based on the project’s location, or investor approval.
Most parts provide guidelines for the former method. On the other hand, no specific guidance on the latter method was provided, but as a general rule of law, the method must be subject to the new Law on Investment as well as the investor appointment mechanism under the current bidding regulations.
It is also worth noting that all of these will be subject to more guidelines specific to the solar and renewable energy sector to be provided in the final draft.
The draft decision does not impose any restriction on participation by foreign investors. However, participating investors must be independent from each other. This requirement may limit the number of proposed projects and chance of success in the bids of certain investors.
For example, an investor must not be named in technical proposals for two or more proposed projects whether as an independent investor or as a consortium of multiple investors; and an investor must not own more than 20 per cent capital of another investor participating in the bids.
In addition, the participating investors must submit, together with the bid proposals, certain documents demonstrating their experience and financial capability, such as financial statements in the last two years and evidence of the capability to mobilise investment capital (both equity financing and debt financing).
Power sale tariff
For selected projects, the electricity tariff is set at the rate proposed by the winning investors in the bidding process. Among the investors that have met all eligibility and technical requirements, as a general rule, the investors proposing the lowest power tariff will be selected to sign a PPA with Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).
The applicable tariff will apply for 20 years from commercial operation date (COD) of the project and will be subject to the USD-VND exchange rate fluctuation based on the central exchange rate announced by the State Bank of Vietnam on the invoicing date.
To ensure the feasibility and enforcement of the proposed tariffs, the draft decision requires that the electricity tariff formulated by participating investors must take into account, among other things, project development costs determined in compliance with the construction law and solar power regulations; and grid connection costs.
For selected projects, if the project fails to reach COD as proposed during the bids, under the draft, the electricity tariff under the project PPA will be reduced by a cumulative portion of 4 per cent after each 90-day period of delay/falling behind the originally proposed schedule.
The draft decision sets out the following key procedures:
– The MoIT prepares/adopts the 5-year renewable energy plan based on (among other things) the power development master plan and the status of the local power grids. This plan specifies a total capacity for each type of renewable energy source for a 5-year period; and a list of transmission lines and substations (with voltages from 220kV) coming into operation during the 5-year period.
– In each 2-year period, based on the 5-year renewable energy plan, the MoIT prepares/adopts a 2-year periodical solar development plan, which specifies the total solar power capacity to be developed in each province/city; and a list of 110kV/220 kV/550 kV transmission lines and substations that are capable of absorbing power generated from renewable energy projects.
– On a biannual basis, provincial people’s committees (PPCs) prepare solar investor selection plans under their local management for the province based on (and no later than six months from issuance of) the MoIT’s 2-year periodical solar development plan. This selection plan must specify the project locations that will be opened to bidding.
– PPCs submit the draft solar investor selection plan to the MoIT and EVN for their appraisal/comments, prior to PPC adoption and publication of their selection plan.
– Participating investors submit proposals to relevant PPCs, with a separate technical proposal and a separate commercial/electricity tariff proposal.
– PPCs evaluate the submitted proposals, select projects, and sign PPAs for selected projects/winning investors.
There are other notable requirements for investors. The draft decision requires a bid guarantee of 0.5 per cent, the total investment capital of the participating project. Forms of bid guarantees to be submitted, as well as conditions for returning bid guarantees have yet to be specified at this stage under the draft.
For selected projects, it also requires investors to sign a “project development commitment letter” based on the contents of the bid proposals. Investors must also deposit an investment project implementing security in the bank accounts of the local authority or other forms in accordance with the new Law on Investment.
That was announced at a launch ceremony held by SAV in Hanoi on December 22. The Vietnamese agency, as the Chair of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) for the 2018-2021 term, chaired the online launch meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, Auditor General of Vietnam Ho Duc Phoc said that from the proposal of the SAV on initiating an audit of cooperation among ASOSAI’s SAI members in Southeast Asia, on the basis of consultation with related stakeholders, the participating SAIs agreed to choose the subject for the collaborative audit on water management in the Mekong River basin in line with SDG implementation.
In July 2020, the 55th ASOSAI Executive Board Meeting officially approved the project with the participation of three SAIs, including Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. The audit has been included in the 2020-2022 working plan for the ASOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (ASOSAI WGEA) and the 2019-2021 working plan for the ASEANSAI Knowledge Sharing Committee (ASEANSAI KSC).
At yesterday’s online meeting, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar signed a Statement of Commitments with terms of reference (ToR) for the cooperative audit, confirming cooperation among the three SAIs and the coordination relationship between the parties to the audit.
Accordingly, the cooperative audit is to be carried out in the form of a parallel audit, applying an operational audit type and will be conducted simultaneously by three SAIs. Each participating SAI may apply a different audit method tailored to the needs and interests of each country.
The two main objectives of the audit are defining the responsibilities of countries involved in implementing national SDGs in the Mekong River basin, and assessing whether the countries concerned have fulfilled the commitments linked to the implementation of the international SDGs in relation to the management, use and protection of water resources in the Mekong River basin.
The SAI of Vietnam, as the initiating and leading SAI of the audit, will be responsible for leading other SAIs in the project, while creating a mechanism for information exchange and close cooperation between the parties, as well as coordinating the support of international audit experts and participating SAIs to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the audit.
According to the Vietnam Institute of Seas and Islands under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), plastic waste accounts for between 50% and 80% of marine waste. Currently, Vietnam is ranked fourth among the five countries which have the biggest volume of plastic waste in their seas, with a volume of between 0.28 and 0.73 million tonnes per year (equivalent to around 6% of the world’s total plastic waste discharged into the sea).
According to the experts, the main sources of pollution related to marine plastic waste in Vietnam include land-based waste sources and marine-based waste sources from activities such shipping, fishing, natural incidents, floating trash at sea and other activities. On the other hand, over recent years, the marine tourism industry has developed strongly, attracting hundreds of millions of domestic and foreign tourists each year. Thus, the volume of plastic waste discharged by tourists to Vietnam’s marine tourism areas is forecasted to be more than 206,000 tonnes by the end of 2020, of which nearly 40% will be discharged into the sea. Many beautiful beaches such as Ha Long Bay, or some islands such as Cat Ba, Phu Quoc, Con Dao, and Cu Lao Cham, are facing the risk of environmental pollution, especially an increasing amount of plastic waste. Worryingly, micro-sized (less than five millimeters) plastic waste formed during the manufacturing process, or fragmentation of plastic materials which exist as suspended matter and in seabed sediments do not decompose easily. They easily accumulate in the biological food chain causing a significant impact on marine ecosystems. Large plastic waste such as nets and floating fishing gear also cause serious harm to marine organisms when they become trapped, reducing fishing productivity and causing impacts on the other ocean ecosystems.
Facing this situation, at the end of 2019, the Prime Minister promulgated the National Action Plan on marine plastic waste management by 2030. The action plan hopes that by 2030, the country will have reduced 75% of plastic waste in the ocean, have collected 100% of lost or discarded fishing tools, and have eradicated the direct discharge of fishing tools into the ocean. With this scheme, Vietnam also hopes all tourist sites, tourist accommodation establishments and other tourism service providers in coastal areas will not use disposable plastic products or non-biodegradable plastic bags. Meanwhile, all coastal nature reserves will become free of plastic waste by 2030.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Minh Ngan said, as a management agency in the field of natural resources and environment, the MoNRE has actively implemented the National Action Plan on marine plastic waste management by 2030 in the whole industry, with the aim of focusing on communication, raising awareness and changing behaviour with plastic products and marine plastic waste. Meanwhile, the ministry has proposed and coordinated with coastal localities to build and pilot a model of sorting waste and plastic waste at source in a number of economic zones, urban areas, industrial zones and coastal processing zones.
Currently, the MoNRE is directing functional agencies to review, research, and develop a waste management mechanism for plastic marine waste, in which the focus is on completing and building a new system of environmental technical regulations on plastic marine waste to national standards. The ministry is developing policies to support and encourage organisations and enterprises to produce and use green, recyclable and environmentally friendly products. Meanwhile, the ministry is maintaining cooperative relationships and closely coordinating with countries and international organisations in the field of controlling and managing marine waste and implementing Vietnam’s initiatives with the international community on its management.. The MoNRE assigned the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands, the General Department of Environment to be the lead agency, coordinate with relevant agencies to synthesize, statistise, classify and assess the sources of plastic waste in coastal areas, islands and from sea activities in order to build a unified specialized database of marine plastic waste, comparable with the national database on waste sources; lead the implementation of in-depth scientific research on the impact of plastic marine waste, especially microplastics on natural resources, the environment, marine ecosystems and human health.
Experts in the field of the marine environment have also suggested that the Government, ministries and branches, especially local governments in coastal localities should organise the effective implementation of movements and campaigns for waste collection and cleaning beaches at national and local level at least twice per year. In particular, it should be noted that the arrangement of storage facilities and waste and plastic waste centres is appropriate, safe and convenient, ensuring aesthetics and environmental sanitation. It is necessary to mobilize more active participation of local people in collection; at the same time, encourage and support organisations and individuals to collect, recycle and reuse plastic waste in river basins, coastal ecosystems areas, mangroves, beaches and coastal water areas. It is necessary to strengthen communcation and advocacy to raise awareness, changing people of all class’ behavior with regard to plastic products and the plastic marine waste.