Canadian company CMX Renewable Energy Inc. has sought a license to build a 150-megawatt solar power plant in the central province of Ninh Thuan at an estimated cost of US$150 million, news website Dau Tu reported Sunday.
Around 1 percent of the plant's output would be provided free to locals, a company executive was quoted as telling the province's authorities at a meeting.
CMX is the latest foreign investor to have expressed interest in producing solar energy in Vietnam even as the government is drafting policies to encourage private investment in the sector.
According to one of the plans being considered by the government, state monopoly Electricity of Vietnam and other electricity distributors will be obliged to buy all the output from solar power plants in 10-20 years, the government's website reported.
The plants are also expected to get special treatment with respect to taxes and land, it said.
With around 2,000-2,500 hours of sunlight annually, Vietnam's solar energy potential is considered to be the equivalent of 43.9 million tons of oil a year.
However, the country's first solar power plant will not go on stream until next year. It is a 19.2-megawatt plant being built in the central province of Quang Ngai by Vietnamese investor Thien Tan Group at an estimated VND862 billion ($36.12 million).
Last year South Korea's SolarPark Korea Company sought to build a 300-megawatt plant in another central province, Ha Tinh, at $650 million.
Another Korean investor, conglomerate Hanwha, also reportedly planned to invest $200 million in developing a 100-200-megawatt plant in Thua Thien-Hue.