New ABB factory to boost Viet Nam’s industrial growth

Thursday, Oct 27, 2022 11:55

Matteo Caiti, Division Hub Manager Asia for ABB Electrification’s Distribution Solutions. — Photo courtesy of ABB

ABB has launched a brand new factory in Bac Ninh province. Matteo Caiti, Division Hub Manager Asia for ABB Electrification’s Distribution Solutions, discusses the group’s investment in the new Vietnamese facility and its plans for the future.

Why did ABB choose Viet Nam as the location for a new manufacturing hub for electrical distribution solutions?

The new factory, which was inaugurated in June, is very important for us and we chose Viet Nam for a number of reasons. Viet Nam is considered one of the most dynamic and stable countries in Southeast Asia, both in terms of the political system and economic development. It boasts a rapidly growing economy, and the government expects power consumption to grow 10-20 per cent a year by 2030. In addition, we have a very strong team of talented and competent employees.

The industrial production sector is also very strong in Viet Nam, with a rapid urbanisation rate forecast to be 39.9 per cent for 2025, according to the German market and consumer data group Statista. Therefore, the demand for electricity and electricity distribution is very high, and the ABB factory will play an important role in delivering solutions to meet this growing demand, as well as ensuring sustainable development in Viet Nam. Another reason is that Viet Nam is establishing a lot of logistics bases. When you export, it is important to minimise transportation and logistics costs and from that perspective, Viet Nam is very well located to deliver to the Asia-Pacific region.

ABB invests US$6 million into a state-of-the-art electrical distribution manufacturing hub in Bac Ninh province.

The factory has received an investment of $6 million. How would you compare the scale of this facility with others ABB has funded?

This is ABB’s most modern facility in Southeast Asia. The sustainable factory is set to bolster the country’s rapid industrial growth and serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region. The smart facility will produce solutions for utilities, renewable energy generation, electric vehicle charging, and data centres.

In addition, our ABB Ability™ Building Management System connects assets across the facility to allow remote monitoring and ensure energy-efficient operations. The manufacturing hub will produce 2,000 panels of ABB’s UniGear medium voltage switchgear and 700 units of plug-and-play modular systems for power distribution each year, with production lines designed on the already successful and lean manufacturing methods used in ABB’s European facilities.

We always start small and as the business grows and we bring more products, we increase capacity. Sometimes a larger factory is required or even a new one. It’s exactly the same story in Viet Nam, and this new factory is more than twice the size of the former one. Viet Nam is on the right track to a greener path and has the potential to grow quickly. As we construct facilities that are energy efficient while utilising the most recent technologies, our factories contribute to sustainability in Viet Nam and the wider region.

What will be the factory’s top strategies and what benefits will it offer customers?

Our initial strategy is to focus on the domestic market. With a solid track record for smart power distribution solutions in Viet Nam, our factory has products and customised solutions available to serve the most challenging customer requirement. Customers in Viet Nam already know us, so it’s ideal to start with Viet Nam and in parallel be accepted by customers in other countries and gradually grow elsewhere. Regarding customer benefits, first of all, customer capacity will more than double. By establishing a factory here with more sophisticated production processes, we are more able to meet customer requests in terms of delivery time. The second matter is that we are bringing a more vertical process. So, the local team will have better control over costs because everything is manufactured and supplied here. Another factor is technology. We will bring the latest technology from Europe and be able to meet most customers’ requests. Our system can integrate all variables and energy resources to ensure continuity. This is the key advantage we offer to our customers. We will partner with local companies, state-owned enterprises, and consultants to show our capabilities. Viet Nam has plans to grow its grid because electrical consumption is growing. We are here to develop competence and will hire more local people and train them to meet our global competency standards. We can send them to other countries to gain know-how and then return to Viet Nam.

How do you evaluate the opportunities in Viet Nam’s market moving forward?

With a population of nearly 100 million people and the second-fastest growing economy in the region, Viet Nam boasts a dynamic young population that has quick access to advanced technology. In terms of the ABB Electrification’s Distribution Solutions business, Viet Nam has potential due to growing urbanisation and rising energy demand along with government efforts toward green development. In addition, Viet Nam’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 demonstrates the country’s strong political intention to accelerate economic transformation to help address the climate crisis.

At ABB, we are committed to electrifying the world in a safe, smart and sustainable way. We develop innovative products, solutions and digital technologies that enable energy efficiency and a low carbon society across all sectors. Our goal is to accelerate the energy transition. Not only will our ideas, and above all, our solutions work in the future – they are already working today. We are committed to long-term development in Viet Nam, to grow along with the development of all utilities and industries in this country. — VNS

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