Vietnam spends $5 billion on coal imports
According to a forecast from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), thermal power plants across the country will need 35 million tonnes of coal to serve power production this year, the major part of which needs to be imported. The figure is expected to increase to 46.5 million tonnes in 2025 and 123.7 million tonnes in 2045.
The soaring increase in foreign currency used to import coal stems from the rising demand around the globe, causing a cost escalation and a shortage of supply.
The MoIT is increasing coal imports from Australia and South Africa to ease the recent shortages that resulted in power losses at manufacturing facilities and to ensure national energy security.
Along with this, thermal power plants are also working with partners to diversify the fuel supply sources for their facilities.
A representative of the Nghi Son thermal power plant in the central province of Thanh Hoa told VIR, “The plant started operation in February this year, thus we still have storage coal to serve for the plant’s operation. However, in the long-term, we will work will partners in South Korea and the Philippines to diversify supply sources and ensure the stable operation of the plant.”
Statistics from the UN Comtrade showed that Vietnam imported about 126,000 tonnes of coal – worth $7.6 million – from South Africa in 2019, 2.6 million tonnes at a cost of $123.4 million in 2020, and spent $360 million on about 7.5 million tonnes in 2021.