Int'l Cooperation

Last updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Ample Opportunities for Vietnam - US Energy Cooperation

Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The potential of energy cooperation for Vietnam and the United States is huge for further development. In fact, leading US energy companies such as ExxonMobil, Murphy Oil, Chevron, UOP, GE and AES have been present in Vietnam with many big projects all over the country.

Cooperation is diverse in forms and engaged all energy fields such as oil and gas exploration, production and processing; power plant investment and development; energy technology cooperation and renewable energy development.

Vietnam and the US recently successfully hosted the Vietnam-US Energy Security Dialogue, an important step for energy development cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking of the importance of energy cooperation, US Ambassador to Vietnam Kritenbrink said, the US hopes to partner Vietnam in strengthening energy security in ways that lead Vietnam to a more prosperous and independent state.

Mr Hoang Quoc Vuong, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, said that the energy cooperation mechanism will create a basis for the two countries to work out energy policies and open up a new phase for effective cooperation projects and successes in the future.

He added that the Vietnamese economy has changed dramatically in the last few decades by shifting from an agriculture-based economy relying on traditional biomass fuels to an economy fuelled by synthetic and modern energy forms. Crude oil, coal, gas, hydropower and non-commercial energy are the sources of energy that are tapped domestically. Given the high level of primary energy demand for economic development and energy security, Vietnam has become an energy importer since 2015.

In recent years, total energy production has tended to be stable, mainly thanks to no major changes in commercial production.

In 2015, Vietnam's primary energy supply was 70.6 million metric tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE), of which commercial energy accounted for 75.5 per cent and non-commercial energy made up for 24.5 per cent. The share of non-commercial biomass energy to the total primary energy supply dropped significantly from 44.2 per cent in 2000 to 16.9 per cent by 2015. The decline was attributable to non-commercial biomass energy replaced by commercial energy forms.

According to a research on energy demand by the Institute of Energy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the total final energy demand in 2035 will increase nearly 2.5 times that of 2015. End use energy may jump from 54 million TOE in 2015 to about 90 million TOE in 2025 and finally 134.5 million TOE in 2035. The end use energy will rise by 5.1 per cent annually in the 2016 - 2025 period but tend to fall by 4.2 per cent yearly from 2026 to 2035 in line with the gradual pickup in GDP growth and economic restructuring. These figures show a very high demand for energy development in Vietnam and a great opportunity of cooperation for foreign investors and businesses, including Americans.

Despite a high development level and the strength of US energy companies and a growing energy demand in Vietnam, the current bilateral cooperation is still very modest. The Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed strengthening cooperation in oil and gas exploration and production projects and seeking new development opportunities in Vietnam as well as in third countries. Major products of cooperation comprised petrochemicals, petroleum processing, coal-fired power, gas-fired thermal power, power grid, and smart grid modernisation and development.

Huong Ly

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