Vietnam seeks immediate coal from Australia to mitigate supply shortage

06:00 | 28/04/2022 Cooperation

(VEN) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has increased coal imports from Australia to ease recent shortages that resulted in power loss at manufacturing facilities and ensure national energy security.

World leading coal exporter

Australia ranks third in the world in terms of coal reserves, with 144,818 million tonnes, accounting for 14 percent of global reserves. Australian coal has high thermal radiation capacity when burnt with other materials, and is therefore used widely in steam boilers and thermal power plants.

All states in Australia are involved in coal mining. Seventy-five percent of Australia’s coal output is for export, mostly to East Asia. Coal mining contributes 5.6 percent to Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 35 percent of the country’s export value. In 2021, Australia exported an estimated 198.2 million tonnes of thermal coal.

vietnam seeks immediate coal from australia to mitigate supply shortage
Increasing coal imports helps ensure energy security

Nearly 80 percent of Australia’s coal output is derived from open-pit mines, compared to 40 percent in most other countries. Open-pit mining is less costly than underground mining, allowing the recovery of 90 percent of the natural resource and enabling Australia to sell coal at more competitive prices than other countries.

The major advantages of the Australian thermal coal industry include the use of advanced technologies, a stable production environment, and international-standard railway and port facilities.

Increasing coal imports

On April 1, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien met Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie to discuss coal imports for energy security and environmental protection purposes. The minister also asked the Australian Embassy for help in organizing an urgent meeting between businesses and management agencies of the two sides so that contracts can be signed for Australian coal shipments to reach Vietnam within this month.

Minister Dien asked the Australians to sell Vietnam quality coal at reasonable prices to help it maintain power price levels and ensure sufficient power supply for production and social security.

On April 5, Minister Dien conducted an online meeting with Tania Constable, Chief Executive Officer at the Minerals Council of Australia, and leading Australian coal and mineral exporters. Representing the Australian mining industry, the Minerals Council of Australia consists of 77 full members and 34 associate members, accounting for 80 percent of the total export value of the Australian mining sector.

Minister Dien said Vietnam needs to import 18-25 million tonnes of coal for electricity and fertilizer production in 2022. He asked Australian coal exporters, especially members of the Minerals Council of Australia, to increase supply for Vietnamese businesses starting this month. Since Vietnam’s demand for coal imports accounts for less than five percent of Australia’s total coal export volume, the minister believes his request can be met.

The Minerals Council of Australia will coordinate tightly with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade to promote cooperation in supplying Australian coal to Vietnam, as well as in investment and technology transfer for sustainable mining industry development.

Thu Thuy