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Fire destroys wind farm turbine in central Vietnam

A wind farm turbine catches fire in Binh Thuan Province.

An 80-meter high wind turbine costing hundreds of thousands of dollars caught fire at the Phong Dien 1 Wind Farm Sunday.

The farm in Tuy Phong District in the south central province of Binh Thuan has 20 turbines.

Witnesses say black smoke billowed out of one of the turbines Sunday and there were explosive sounds before the blade fell to the ground.

Due to the turbine’s height, the fire could not be put down by the wind farm’s staff and local fire protection force.

While the turbine was “completely ruined,” there was no human casualty, said Huynh Van Dien, chairman of Tuy Phong District’s People’s Committee.

Wind farm officials said technicians are trying to identify the cause of the fire and assess damage caused.

Black smoke billows out of a wind turbine at the Phong Dien 1 wind farm in Binh Thuan Province, January 5, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Dien.

The Phong Dien 1 Wind Farm of Vietnam Renewable Energy One Member Company, Ltd, is Vietnam’s first wind power plant. It aims to build 80 wind turbines in two stages with a total investment of VND2 trillion ($86.3 million).

The first stage was completed in 2009 with the installation of 20 wind turbines designed to generate 30 MW in total.

Using advanced German technology, each turbine is said to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As of September 2019, renewable energy accounted for 9 percent of Vietnam’s energy mix. With its hydropower potential close to exhaustion and its oil and gas reserve running low, Vietnam is looking to exploit its renewable energy potential.