HSBC exits Vinh Tan 3 coal power project in Vietnam

(Eco Business, 24 Jan 2020) The London-headquartered bank’s cancellation of its role as financial advisor for the 1,980-megawatt Vinh Tan 3 coal power plant in Vietnam marks the latest move by a major international lender to ease off on bankrolling the fossil fuel in Asia.

One of the world’s largest finance groups, HSBC, has pulled out of a major coal project in Vietnam, marking the latest move by an international bank to go cold on funding the biggest source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.

HSBC was appointed financial advisor to the US$2 billion, 1,980-megawatt Vinh Tan 3 coal-fired power station in southeastern Vietnam in 2014, but the bank declared this week that it is not involved in the project.

Vinh Tan 3 is a planned part of a huge coal power complex in the Vinh Tan, Bình Thuan province of Vietnam, which is projected to produce 12 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, and generate 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

The news emerged via a response from the bank to an opinion editorial headlined “HSBC lags as finance cleans up on Asian energy”written for Asia Times by Munira Chowdhury, an analyst for Australia-based finance pressure group Market Forces, and published on Wednesday.

The story was updated, with the footnote from Asia Times stating that HSBC had told the publication that it has “no involvement at all in the Vinh Tan 3 project – including as financial adviser, funding arranger or prospective lender.”

In the article, Chowdhury pointed to data showing that HSBC had pumped US$7.9 billion into coal development between January 2017 and September 2019, and was lagging other international rivals in its efforts to decarbonise its lending portfolio. 

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Eco Business, 24 Jan 2020: HSBC exits Vinh Tan 3 coal power project in Vietnam