Coal imports for power generation on the rise

Thursday, Nov 08, 2018 16:15

The coal crane system at Nghi Son 1 Thermal Power Plant in the central province of Thanh Hoa. — Photo

The import of coal for electricity generation looks set to increase in the near future, said deputy general director of Viet Nam Electricity (EVN) Ngo Son Hai.

Hai told the Coaltrans conference on emerging Asian coal markets in Ha Noi on Wednesday that the total power capacity by the end of 2017 was more than 45,000MW, 38 per cent of which was coal-fired power generation.

According to the National Power Master Plan VII for 2011 to 2020 with a vision to 2030, coal-fired power would comprise a big portion in the country’s power supply.

The total coal-fired power capacity would reach 26,000MW by 2020, accounting for 42.7 per cent of the total and 55,300MW by 2030, or 42.6 per cent.

The demand for coal for power generation would be on the rise in the upcoming time. The amount of coal used for power generation in 2017 was 5.4 times higher than in 2007.

In addition to local coal, demand for imported coal would also be higher as coal-fired power plants such as Duyen Hai 3 and Quang Trach 1 come into operation.

He said that last year EVN began importing coal for power generation.

However, he said its power corporations have faced difficulties with coal imports, as relevant policies have not been completed. On the other hand, the anthracite coal source is increasingly scarce, and the quality of bituminous and sub-bitumen coal is unstable.

From 2019, EVN would have to import more anthracite coal to offset the domestic coal shortage.

The shortcomings of coal port infrastructure, transport capacity of shipping vessels and adverse weather conditions have also been significant challenges in the coal import for power generation.

To ensure national energy security, EVN has taken some steps to resolve the coal issue for power generation such as building medium- and long-term coal procurement contracts and holding open bidding to select qualified suppliers. In the upcoming time, EVN would also study of free on board (FOB) coal transportation methods. — VNS

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