Seeking to Import Coal to Thermal Power Projects

5:13:00 PM | 10/2/2014

In recent years, demand for coal on the domestic market in Vietnam has increased steadily. According to the Master Plan of coal industry development in Vietnam by 2020, with perspective to 2030, the total coal output will reach 55 million tonnes in 2015, 60 million tonnes in 2020, 65-70 million tonnes in 2025 and 65 -75 million tonnes in 2030.
Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation (Vinacomin) is the major coal producer in Vietnam accounting for 95 percent of total coal production, providing anthracite for power sector and industries using coal both nationally and world-wide, investing in the development of power plants; exploration and processing minerals; with involvement in the chemical, engineering, construction materials and trading industries supporting the main industries of coal and minerals.
According to the balancing of supply and demand, if power plants operate as scheduled under the Power Master Plan VII, Vietnam will need total 62-72 million tonnes of coal in 2020; in which coal for power: 42-72 million tones; coal for other industries: 20-22 million tonnes. This means Vietnam has to import coal for thermal power plants in Southern area with amount from 10-12 million tonnes in 2020.
Vietnam's coal export has been reduced from 24.8 million tonnes in 2007 to 14 million tonnes in 2013. The high quality coal is exported to the EU, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, etc.; while medium quality dust coal is mainly exported to China and some other countries.
In the future, when the domestic market coal demand rises, especially coal for thermal power plants, the average and low quality coal export will be reduced and ceased. By 2015, the export plan of Vinacomin will be significantly reduced to 9.0 million tonnes, and will continue falling in the coming years.
Vinacomin will continue giving priority to stable coal provision for traditional customers, including Japan as the signed contracts, and will propose to Vietnamese competent authorities to continue supplying coal for the Japanese market in coming years.
Vinacomin was assigned by the Vietnamese Government as the key role to import coal for power plants in Vietnam. During time, Vinacomin has actively approached and investigated markets such as Indonesia, Australia and Russia to seek for sources of coal importing to Vietnam.
Vinacomin has discussed the demand of importing coal with major thermal coal suppliers over the world and has signed some agreements on importing coal with companies from Australia and Indonesia for some thermal power projects which are expected to use imported coal.
Vinacomin is now also cooperating with big trading companies from Japan to seek coal importing sources for thermal power projects in Vietnam after 2016.
Vinacomin has also been assigned "The investment project of transshipment port for imported coal, supplying coal for thermal power centres in Mekong River Delta". The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has supported Vinacomin and selected Sumitomo as a consultant to conduct the feasibility study (FS) for this project. Currently, JICA, Sumitomo and Vinacomin are actively coordinating to implement necessary works to complete the FS and submit it to the Vietnamese Government for approval.
To ensure the coal supply for the economy in the coming period, Vinacomin has to enhance the activities of investigation, exploration, supplement of available coal reserves and increase productivity, expand the scale of mines and develop new mines, and focus on investment in building deep underground mines with high productivity.
Vinacomin has been assigned the exploration, technology and testing of coal in the Red River Delta. Therefore, Vinacomin has been seeking foreign partners to jointly research and test coal mining technology. Based on the test results, the appropriate coal mining technology and scale of exploitation will be determined.
Vinacomin will promote technological research, apply advance coal processing technology toward to diversification of products, create clean and environment friendly products, build power plants using FBC/CFBC technology for the purpose of reducing environment pollution and increasing operational efficiency.
Huong Ly