Ministry of Industry and Trade calls for stable supply of coal

Monday, Mar 06, 2023 08:45

A coal preparation plant located in the Vang Danh Coal Mine. Domestic coal producers are forecast to crank out 44.7 million tonnes of coal in 2023. —VNA/VNS Photo Tuan Anh

The Minister of Industry and Trade has recently asked the trio of power giants to keep the supply of coal stable at all costs in 2023 as the mineral is essential for power generation and fertiliser production.

In his meeting with State-owned heavyweights on March 3, Minister Tran Hong Dien requested Vietnam Electricity, Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, and Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (TKV) to keep a close watch on coal supply.

He said under no circumstances should the supply be disrupted as coal is an essential mineral that thermal power stations and fertiliser factories can not go without. If a coal shortfall occurs, it will deal a heavy blow to the economy.

To keep coal shortages at bay, the minister urged the trio to act in line with the governmental Directive No.29 and the ministerial instructions on the provision of coals.

He also ordered that coal suppliers and purchasers comply strictly with the contracts they both agreed to. Otherwise, they would be held responsible for any damage arising from their failure to fulfil the contracts.

He also called on the trio to find new coal exporters, especially those who have signed a free trade agreement with Viet Nam, to boost coal imports. Some potential candidates include Indonesia, South Africa, and Laos.

Specifically, he called for extensive research into Lao policies on coal exports and the construction of routes allowing Lao coal transport into Viet Nam at the lowest costs. He also suggested coal warehouses be built near the Lao border to reduce mileage.

Vietnamese coal importers are urged to move into top gear to be well-prepared for the import targets set for this year. The same goes for coal producers, who must toil away to keep pace with their targets.

KTV and Dong Bac Corporation (DBC) are tasked with improving capacity to churn out sufficient coal for electricity generation. They are also asked to build intermediate warehouses in the central and southern provinces so coal in transit can be temporarily stored before being reshipped to thermal power plants.

The minister has asked the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Construction to carry out regular checks on the corporations to ensure their construction works take place as requested.

According to the Department of Oil, Gas, and Coal, Ministry of Industry and Trade, about 57.9 million tonnes of coal would be brought to the market in 2023, of which 44.7 million tonnes would be domestically produced and 13.2 million tonnes come from abroad.

Meanwhile, total coal consumption would run to approximately 57.0 million tonnes during the same period, with 46.2 million tonnes being used for electricity generation, 2.5 million tonnes for fertiliser production, and 8.3 million tonnes for others.

TVK has entered into contracts with 22 thermal power plants and two fertiliser factories to date. Under the contract, the first will sell 38.5 million tonnes of coal to the second and 1.6 million tonnes to the third. DBC followed suit with a contract involving the sale of 7.6 million tonnes to 10 thermal power plants.

In the first two months of 2023, coal available for sale hit 8.3 million tonnes, slightly lower than coal consumption of 8.7 million tonnes. About 7.3 million tonnes went to electricity generation whereas 0.4 million tonnes to fertiliser production.

At the end of the meeting, the minister called on the heavyweights to always put productivity and innovation high on their agenda. He said they should closely cooperate to deal with common obstacles more easily. —VNS

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