AC Energy, Inc. and its partner The Blue Circle Pte. Ltd. have ordered eight of the new 5 megawatt (MW) wind turbines from a unit of General Electric Co. (GE) to power the second phase of the firms’ $80-million wind farm in Vietnam.

The 158-meter Cypress platform wind turbines, which have a total unit capacity of 40 MW, will carry the largest rotor diameter for an onshore project in Asia and will be the first to transport blades in two pieces before assembly on site.

“This technology is a game-changer for onshore sites as it will allow larger capacity machines, lowering our cost of energy and enhancing competitiveness of wind energy,” The Blue Circle Chief Construction Officer Hervé Grillot said in a statement.

Last year, the two firms signed an agreement to construct the first phase of the renewable energy project, which was initially expected to be done by the first half of 2020. AC Energy held more than 62% of the economic ownership, including a 50% direct voting share in this phase.

AC Energy through its wholly owned subsidiary, AC Energy Vietnam Investments 2 Pte. Ltd., will have a 50% voting stake in this second phase of the project, while GE Vietnam will be providing a full service agreement for up to 15 years and The Blue Circle will manage operations through an asset management services contract.

The Mui Ne project is located in Binh Thuan province on the southeastern coast of Vietnam. It has a total expansion potential of up to 170 MW, and will be funded by debt and equity. The project is also set to qualify for the wind feed-in-tariff of 8.5 US cents per kilowatt-hour.

The Blue Circle has secured the land and grid connection for the project’s 40 MW second phase, despite the suspension of master plan approvals in Vietnam.

“The Binh Thuan province is a very complex and challenging environment to implement a wind power project,” The Blue Circle Chief Executive Officer Olivier Duguet said.

“We are now extending the Mui Ne Project with a second 40MW phase to be commissioned in 2021,” he added.

In 2018, the Ayala-led company via its subsidiary, AC Energy International Holdings Pte. Ltd., acquired 25% ownership of The Blue Circle, including co-investment rights in the latter’s projects.

“We have strongly pushed for the adoption of new technologies and best practices to grow our assets in renewables with the continuous support to pursue innovation from partners like The Blue Circle,” AC Energy International Chief Operating Officer Patrice R. Clausse said.

Recently, AC Energy agreed to transfer its stake in renewable energy projects abroad to its Philippine-listed unit, AC Energy Philippines, Inc., in exchange for more shares in the latter. — Adam J. Ang