Warning of electricity shortage, the Vietnam Energy Association (VEA) has asked the Prime Minister to instruct local authorities not to turn their back on coal-fired thermopower projects.
VEA’s chair Tran Viet Ngai at the review conference held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) in late December 2019 made a series of proposals to speed up the implementation of power projects.
Notably, Ngai asked the Prime Minister to instruct some southern provinces not to refuse the coal-fired thermopower projects to be set up in their provinces.
He said coal-fired thermopower now just accounts for 36.1 percent of total electricity output, or about 20,000 MW, affirming that this is a very small figure compared with other countries, which have hundreds of thousand of MW of coal-fired thermopower. The plants utilize out-of-date polluting technologies.
Meanwhile, the coal-fired thermopower projects Vietnam plans to develop in the time to come will use the most advanced technology with supercritical boilers, so there is no need to worry aboutpollution.
|The coal-fired thermopower projects Vietnam plans to develop in the time to come will use the most advanced technology with supercritical boilers, so there is no need to worry aboutpollution.|
Ngai affirmed that now and in upcoming years, coal-fired power plays a key role in power generation. Therefore, local authorities should not be against coal-fired power projects, or Vietnam will fail to implement the plan to obtain the capacity of 130,000 MW by 2030.
Commenting about VEA’s proposal, Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Research Institute for Climate Change under the Can Tho University, said this is an unreasonable proposal which is contrary to existing regulations.
Under the current laws, when implementing coal-fired power projects, investors must prepare environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports and consult with the local residents and local authorities about the projects.
“Investors have to ask for opinions from local people and they can implement projects only when people agree on the projects. VEA proposes provinces not to refuse the projects. So what does ‘consultation’ mean?” Tuan said.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Minh Due, chair of the Energy Science Council belonging to VEA, said thete are different solutions to the power generation issue, including coal-fired thermopower, wind power, solar power and hydropower. Local authorities need to consider technical, economic and environmental conditions and choose the most suitable solutions for them.
“My principle is choosing projects which can meet technical requirements, bring economic efficiency and don’t cause environment pollution,” he said.
Regarding the investment rate, Tuan affirmed that coal-fired power projects are not cheap if counting the expenses on social and environmental problems to be caused by the projects.
Long An, Tien Giang and Bac Lieu provinces in Mekong Delta and Thua Thien-Hue in the central region have refused to set up coal-fired power projects in their localities.
Since the government is pursuing a consistent policy not to sacrifice the environment for economic development, coal-fired thermopower projects will no longer be developed.
Experts have accused coal-fired power plants of causing air pollution in Hanoi, noting that they are emitting fine dust during operations. But operators of such plants have rejected the claim, according to local media.