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GE announces new contract with EVNGENCO 3

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GE and EVNGENCO 3 sign the new contract on October 26 – PHOTO: COURTESY OF GE

HCMC – GE on October 26 announced a new contract with Vietnamese state-owned power utility Power Generation Joint Stock Corporation 3 (EVNGENCO 3) to continue supplying parts and services for its Phu My 2.1 and 4 power plants.

The two plants are located in the 3,900-megawatt (MW) Phu My Power Generation Center in the southern part of the country and provide approximately 10% of the country’s energy needs.

The five-year service agreement includes the provision of new and reconditioning parts and on-site services for four GE GT13E2 gas turbines and STF-D200-combined cycle steam turbine units, helping to increase the safe and reliable operations and efficiency of EVNGENCO 3’s power plants.

“As the largest power generation center in Vietnam, we have a responsibility to ensure seamless operations and no down time of our facilities,” said Dinh Quoc Lam, chairman of the board of directors of Power Generation Corporation 3, in a statement.

He added that “choosing GE was the natural choice to help us utilize the full potential of our plant’s assets. We have benefitted from GE’s proven track record of providing high-quality technology and services. GE’s support has been exceptional throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and with this service agreement, we trust in the company’s ability to continue to support us in achieving our business goals.”

GE’s GT13E2 Gas Turbines have been powering the two plants since 1997. GE upgraded the units to MXL2s over several years since 2016, resulting in an increased output of approximately 6% (from 440MW to 465MW) and improved efficiency levels from 51.8% to 53.7%.

“Vietnam has achieved impressive progress toward rapid economic development in the past few decades built on the backdrop of increasing access to electricity to power its people and businesses,” Pham Hong Son, CEO, GE Vietnam, said in the statement, adding, “We are honored to continue to provide EVNGENCO 3 with our safe, reliable and in-region support, and ultimately help Vietnam achieve its energy goals for its national economic growth.”

GE’s GT13E2 gas turbine offers industry-leading efficiency. Its installed base of over 170 units operating in 35 countries cumulates over 14 million operating hours and generates 400 GW/h per day. The turbine capability to operate in extreme conditions (from -50°C to +55°C) and its high utilization rate of some 5,000 operating hours per units per year on average demonstrates the engine’s success and reliability. GE has performed over 500 C-Inspections and installed 39 MXL2 upgrades on 13E2 machines.

During the ceremony, an MoU was signed with EVNGENCO 3 as part of GE’s commitment to support the growth of the country’s power sector and human capital development. The MoU envisages that GE will support training and capability building of EVNGENCO 3’s personnel to execute field services related to steam turbine and generator equipment maintenance. GE and EVNGENCO 3 will also work together to explore collaboration for service opportunities related to steam turbine and generator equipment owned by EVNGENCO 3 and other power generation companies.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/79121/ge-announces-new-contract-with-evngenco-3-.html

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Freight and logistics stocks on the rise despite pandemic

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Quy Nhơn Port in south central province of Bình Định. — VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI — Freight and logistics stocks have seen major gains since the beginning of 2020 even as the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy. 

According to the General Statistics Office, the country’s exports topped US$254 billion during the first 11 months of the year, making for an increase of 5.3 per cent over the previous year, while imports were estimated at $234.5 billion. 

Increased trade activities coupled with a number of international trade deals which were recently signed or came into effects such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have significantly boosted investors’ confidence in logistics stocks.

A number of stocks such as VSC, GMD, DVP, DXP, SFI and HAH have seen double-digit growth in recent months and some of them set all-time high records on the trading floor. 

Experts, however, pointed out the recent rise in stock value did not necessarily come from better business performance but rather investors’ optimism in the sector’s future. For example, despite the increased trading value, Gemadept has reported a 32 per cent drop in profit in the first three quarters, Tân Cảng Logistic (TCL) a 15 per cent drop and Hải An Logistics a 9 per cent drop. 

A container shortage, typically experienced by logistics firms during the end of the year when import/export activities are at the highest level, especially for an export-oriented economy such as Việt Nam, contributed to an increase in logistics costs.

A report from the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) showed more than 40 per cent of firms had difficulty finding containers for their cargo with up to 17 per cent unable to rent them. This has created a large backlog of cargo at port and storage facilities across the country, which generated additional revenue for logistics firms. 

Meanwhile, freight charges have skyrocketed in recent months. According to Freightos, a Hong Kong-based shipping company, the freight charges for a 40-feet container from China to the US west coast has almost tripled to near $4,000. 

Investors also seem to be betting on an increase in port charges as Việt Nam’s current prices were comparatively low in the region. A statement from the VLA said the sector has set an objective to bring charges to 60-70 per cent of the region’s price level by 2025, which they have planned to start bringing up at the beginning of next year. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/816951/freight-and-logistics-stocks-on-the-rise-despite-pandemic.html

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Nearly a third of local sugar plants shut down

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A farmer harvests sugarcane. Nearly a third of domestic sugar plants have shut down – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HANOI – Only 29 of 40 local sugar plants remained operational in the 2019-2020 season due to a high volume of sugar imports and the deployment of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) with lower tax rates for sugar imports from ASEAN markets, according to the Vietnam Sugarcane and Sugar Association (VSSA).

The 2020-2021 season is forecast to be a hard time for the sugar sector, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic remains a big challenge. Four more sugar mills—Son Duong, Nong Cong, Van Phat and Pho Phong—are likely to stop their operations due to a shortage of input materials, resulting in their poor performance.

The local sugar sector has been hit for many years due to the smuggling of sugar, mainly from Thailand.

Meanwhile, other ASEAN countries, such as Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, despite commitments to the ATIGA, have still employed measures to protect their sugar firms.

Vietnam has fulfilled its commitments to the agreement since January 1 by setting no limits on the volume of sugar imports from ASEAN countries and applying a tax rate of 5% for sugar imports from these markets.

According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, nearly 884,300 tons of sugar was imported into the country in the January-October period of this year, higher than the locally-produced volume of sugar. Of the total, sugar from Thailand accounted for 87.67%.

Due to a high volume of low-cost sugar imports, the prices of local sugar products have plunged, leading to low sugarcane prices. As a result, many farmers have incurred debts and stopped growing sugarcane.

In reality, the Ministry of Industry and Trade launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into sugar products that originate from Thailand in September. The ministry had earlier imposed anti-dumping measures on high-fructose corn syrup products originating from China and South Korea.

According to VSSA, Thailand has banned sugar imports, while Indonesia and the Philippines have allowed the import of a volume of sugar equivalent to the deficiency in volume.

In these three countries, sugarcane farmers are supported through direct and indirect aid and the profit sharing system to ensure they earn a stable income.

Specifically, the Thai Government annually provides at least US$1.3 billion to the sugar sector.

Therefore, Nguyen Van Loc, acting general secretary of VSSA, proposed Vietnam should apply trade remedies in line with the international law and rules of the World Trade Organization.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/79609/nearly-a-third-of-local-sugar-plants-shut-down.html

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UL help deliver confidence in life safety & business continuity

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Building owners and operators know that life safety and efficient operation are important concerns. However, meeting these criteria requires thorough understanding, effort and knowledge.

UL has helped many investors in Vietnam and the community in the field of inspection and verification as they build a safe foundation for buildings and occupants.

Customers choose to work with UL to help demonstrate their safety commitment to occupants, insurers as well as take advantage of such added values as detailed and complete reporting, useful information for further informed decisions, improvement and study. They may also have improved peace of mind that systems have been objectively inspected and accurately evaluated.

According to Ms Lưu Thị Thanh Mẫu, CEO of Phuc Khang Corporation, “The infrastructure quality in Vietnam is gradually developing in parallel with the perfection of safety standards. Vietnamese real estate companies have also been contributing significantly to improving general safety standards and applying international assessment programs for their buildings.”

Along with pioneering the application of green building assessment programs, Phuc Khang Corporation has been cooperating with UL to evaluate comprehensively systems of fire protection, security and life safety inside buildings and fully trusted in UL’s competence and expertise to these programs.

Rome by Diamond Lotus of Phuc Khang Corporation is the first residential building that applied UL Standards right from its design stage”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UL had urgently built an evaluation program for reoccupancy
(Building Reoccupancy), aiming to support enterprises as they emerge from occupancy restrictions.

Some services provided by UL’s Building Inspection Services in fire and life safety include: occupancy classification, fire zones/compartmentation, emergency and escape lightning, and illumination of means of egress; as well as other important services in security systems and fire protection systems such as fire pump, sprinkler, burglar alarm system and monitor detectors.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/79612/ul-help-deliver-confidence-in-life-safety-business-continuity.html

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