Import of coal on increase

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the domestic demand for coal is increasing, especially at thermal power plants, whereas domestic coal production is fairly low so import of coal continues to strongly climb.

Import of coal on increase

Accordingly, in the first half of this year, coal imports rose by 99.6 percent over the same period last year, exceeding 20.64 million tons and coal import turnover also surged by 64.8 percent, worth more than US$1.99 billion.

Meanwhile, the country’s export of coal merely reached 402,236 tons, worth $61.85 million, down 65.2 percent in volume and 59.8 percent in value compared to the same period last year.

Thus, in the first half of this year, coal posted a trade deficit of $1.93 billion, up 83 percent over the same period last year.

According to the national power development plan for the period from 2011 to 2020 with vision extended until 2030, in order to meet power demand of the country, in 2020, Vietnam must have a total power capacity of 75,000 megawatts, of which, coal-based thermal power plants account for 48 percent of total capacity.

By 2030, total capacity of power plants must reach 146,800 megawatts and the proportion of coal-fired power plant will be raised to 51.6 percent with total capacity of nearly 76,000 megawatts, higher than total capacity of all power plants in Vietnam in 2020.

Meanwhile, according to the country’s plan for coal industry by 2020 with visions extended until 2030, coal demand for thermal electricity will be 64.1 million tons by 2020 and up to 131.1 million tons by 2030. However, in this plan, domestic coal production will merely  reach 47-50 million tons by 2020 and 55-57 million tons by 2030.

Meanwhile, coal is also for other sectors, including metallurgy, cement, fertilizer, chemicals and other fields whose demand is estimated to reach 25.5 million tons by 2030.

Therefore, total domestic coal demand by 2030 will be nearly 157 million tons whereas domestic coal production will be 57 million tons at the maximum. This means that Vietnam will have to continue to import up to 100 million tons of coal in 2030.

By Lac Phong – Translated by Thuy Doan

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