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Energy

Mitsubishi pulls out of Vietnam coal plant amid climate concerns

Vinh Tan 3 project hit by backlash against carbon-intensive fuel

Mitsubishi Corp.'s headquarters in Tokyo: The trading house faces growing international pressure to withdraw from coal-fired power plants.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp. decided Thursday to withdraw from the Vinh Tan 3 coal-fired power plant project in Vietnam amid growing international concern about climate change, Nikkei has learned.

The project is separate from the Vung Ang 2 coal power plant, which the governments of Japan and Vietnam are pursuing together. Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has called for the cancellation of Vung Ang 2.

Vinh Tan 3, planned for Binh Thuan Province in southern Vietnam, is scheduled to come online in 2024. The 2-gigawatt plant is expected to feature cutting-edge ultra-supercritical technology.

OneEnergy, a joint venture of Mitsubishi and Hong Kong's CLP group, holds a 49% interest in the $2 billion project. State-owned Electricity of Vietnam owns another 29%. Chinese companies are handling materials procurement, construction and equipment delivery.

The banking consortium behind Vinh Tan 3 includes Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Standard Chartered and HSBC have pulled financing from the power plant.

Unlike Vung Ang 2, Vinh Tan 3 is not a national project, and the start date for construction has already been delayed, making it easier to bow out.

This marks Mitsubishi's first time withdrawing from a coal plant project. The trading house has said it will not build any new facilities of this type after Vung Ang 2. It plans to contribute to development on power projects that are less harmful to the environment, including liquefied natural gas and renewables such as solar.

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