The Vietnamese government has announced that it will increase investment in renewable energy for energy security and economic development. As part of this initiative, it aims to produce 4 000 MW of the nation’s electricity through solar energy by June 2019. To realise this vision, engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon was engaged to bring the Dau Tieng 1 and 2 solar power project to life.
The 420 MW solar power plant was completed in June 2019, and is the largest installed PV power plant in Southeast Asia. Aurecon served as the Owner’s Engineer, in addition to providing project management, design review, and site supervision services.
The biggest challenge facing the project was the June 2019 deadline; to fulfil Vietnam’s renewable energy initiatives, the project was scheduled to be commissioned and connected to Vietnam’s power grid in under a year. Exacerbating the need for speed, the solar farm was also built next to a reservoir which would flood from October to February every year during monsoon season, pausing construction.
Collaboration between the project’s partners and flexibility was critical to meeting the project’s deadline. The owner and contractors were invited to design meetings for critical items, where contributions were encouraged. Working closely with all parties, Aurecon conducted independent calculation checks to supplement the contractors’ designs, speeding up approvals and achieving the project’s outcomes
Additionally, to manage the site supervision of such a large-scale project, Aurecon collaborated closely with the client on site inspections. Adopting a flexible approach, Aurecon joined the owner’s engineering team to ensure safety and efficiency was closely observed across the 500 hectares site.
Working with a diverse team of multinational partners on the project, clear communication between Aurecon and senior stakeholders was very important as these partners had different engineering practices.
For instance, the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor was Chinese, while the substation’s contractor was Vietnamese; this affected simple things like documentation and formats of basic design specifications. Through careful relationship building and utilising Aurecon’s team in Vietnam to review local standards, Aurecon was able to streamline project outcomes and efficiently meet stakeholders’ expectations.
“To accelerate the project’s delivery, we also tapped on our international teams,” said Worakarn Aimdee, Aurecon’s Technical Director, Infrastructure Services, “Our South African unit contributed their considerable experience in engineering large-scale renewable projects, while our Bangkok team had good experience collaborating with B. Grimm Power on previous solar projects in Thailand.”
Through resourcefulness and close collaboration, the Dau Tieng 1 and 2 Solar Power Plant Project was completed in less than a year. Recognised as the largest solar farm in the region, it will help meet the electricity demands of two nearby cities. It comprises over 1.3 million PV modules, 170 000 pile foundations and 600 kilometres of steel mounting structures.