HANOI, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Irish wind and solar firm Mainstream Renewable Power on Monday said it had agreed to build and operate wind projects in Vietnam worth a total of over $2.2 billion, as the country looks for new energy sources to meet soaring demand.
The announcement came on the sidelines of Irish President Michael Higgins' visit to the Southeast Asian nation. It expands upon, and adds a price tag to, an agreement back in September.
Countries around the world are coming under increasing pressure to crack down on carbon emissions from sectors such as coal-fired power stations, with the historic Paris climate accord coming into force last Friday.
Vietnam's electricity demand is expected to grow 10.6 percent annually in the next five years, according to its trade ministry.
The three wind farms would generate an annual total of 940 megawatts (MW) of power, Mainstream said in a statement.
It added that it would partner with GE Energy Financial Services and local firm Phu Cuong Group in its main Vietnam project, an 800 MW wind farm worth $2 billion. The first phase of the project, for 150-200 MW, is expected to reach financial close in 2018, it said.
Mainstream will separately partner with Vietnam's Pacific Corporation in two other projects in the southern province of Binh Thuan, with a combined 138 MW in capacity and $200 million in investment, the statement said. The first phase of these projects is also likely to reach financial close in 2018.
Vietnam is also looking to join Thailand in blazing a trail for solar power in Southeast Asia, introducing targets to fire up green energy generation. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Joseph Radford)