The government of Binh Thuan Province has decided to suspend the licensing of new wind power development projects because many of the potential areas for wind power development overlap on titanium mines, according to Binh Thuan’s Department of Industry and Trade.
Dinh Huy Hiep, vice director of the department, told the Daily yesterday that though there was high potential for developing wind power in the province but the province had to limit new wind power projects because the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was still surveying titanium mines in the province.
He said many sites with high green energy development potential had been assessed to hold large reserves of titanium.
In recent times, many investors have come to the province proposing investing in wind power projects. However, the province has had to decline their proposals as the results of the ministry’s titanium mine surveys are not available, Hiep said.
Furthermore, he said, the province is also in the process of drawing up a master plan for developing the local wind power industry.
According to him, the province has already approved 12 wind power projects with total electricity capacity of some 1,500 MW. Meanwhile, total wind power potential in Binh Thuan have been forecast at 4,000 MW, so there is much room for new investors.
“The key objective of the Binh Thuan Wind Power Association in 2010 will be to solve the titanium issue. The association will petition for preferential policies for developing this environmentally friendly source of energy;’ he said.
Hiep said that with any site having potentials of both wind power and titanium, the province would ask the government to give priority to wind power projects with a duration of 50 years, and after that the land would be returned for titanium extraction.
Titanium reserves in Binh Thuan are estimated at around 500 million tonnes, he said, and If the annual extraction output is 2.5 million tonnes of crude titanium, then it will take some 200 years to get all the titanium.
“So it’s more rational for tapping wind power prior to titanium exploitation;’ he stressed.
According to the department, in the middle of January next year, the province will organise a seminar on wind power planning and development.