Vietnam lays ground for power sector coal imports

14:31 | 16/03/2015 Industry

Vietnam will stop exporting coal dust as of this year as part of efforts to secure coal supplies for the country’s thermal power production demands which are forecast to increase in the future.

Vietnam lays ground for power sector coal imports

In the document just released by the Government Office, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the state run mining giant Vinacomin to adjust its coal production targets and formulate plans to make them a reality.

Under Vietnam’s power development plan during 2011-2020 with the vision to 2030, coal-fired power plants would still remain the most important source of power generation in Vietnam, fuelling 48% of the nation’s total generation capacity, equivalent to 256 billion kWh. Coal-fired power plants in Vietnam would need a estimated 67.3 million tonnes of coal per year.

“Specific calculations on the amount of coal required depend on types, sources as well as transportation need to be undertaken,” said the document.

The government asked ministries and agencies to ensure imported coal sources and transportation and port facilities for the unloading of coal to fuel its power plants two years ago.

“Ensuring that imported coal sources and infrastructure are in place in order to supply thermal power plants is the most urgent task,” Hai said.

Vietnam, as a net coal exporter, would import nearly 6 million tones of the power generating fuel by 2015 as the domestic supply is declining, according to Vinacomin.
The imported coal would be used as fuel for power generation facilities primarily in the central and southern regions.

Local thermal power generators mostly use domestic coal to fuel their plants. They would, however, face shortages in the years to come because of the limited exploitation capacity of Vinacomin and the reduction in opencast coal mining due to environment concerns.

Hai ordered the state-run Petro Vietnam, Vinacomin and Electricity of Vietnam to speed up their power projects and make through preparations for the smooth transportation of coal to fuel thermal power plants.

The Republic of Korea’s Tae Kwang Vina Industrial has submitted a proposal to the government to cooperate with Vinacomin to explore coal to supply its 1,200 megawatt coal-fired power project in Hai Hau district in the northern province of Nam Dinh.

Vietnam has been exploring opportunities to import coal from Australia.

Nguyen Thanh Son, director of the Song Hong Energy Company said that China and Japan were also seeking coal supplies from sources overseas. He said, “China and Japan have bigger advantages than Vietnam in terms of coal imports. They have long term investment strategies, higher coal-use efficiency, bigger ports and can pay more for supplies.

Source VOV News