Thermal power plants face risk of coal shortage
In January, Vietnam imported 1.7 million tonnes of coal, a decline by 38 per cent on-month and by 10 per cent on-year. The coal’s import turnover in January was $272 million, down by 45 per cent compared to the turnover of December 2022.
The price for imported coal is $161 per tonne, a decrease of 31 per cent on-year. It is the consecutive six months that the imported coal prices to Vietnam was under $200 per tonne.
In the first month of 2023, Vietnam majorly imported coal from three main markets, including Australia (962,000 tonnes, equalling 57 per cent of the total imported coal), Indonesia with 580,000 tonnes (34 per cent), and Russia with 100,000 tonnes (6 per cent).
Recently, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) submitted a document to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to report that the group has to adjust the plan to import coal for the Vinh Tan 4 thermal power plant to match its real operation demand.
EVN also reports that at present, the coal supply for a series of EVN-invested thermal power plants in Thai Binh, Quang Ninh and Haiphong in collaboration with Nghi Son 1, Vinh Tan 2, and Duyen Hai 1 thermal power plants have been interrupted, thus power generation of these plants are impacted.
“In 2023, the demand for coal is predicted to increase thanks to the operation of the Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant, thus if the coal supply for power generation is not improved, the lack of coal will still go on,” EVN noted.
The total amount of coal supplied by Vinacomin and DongBac Corporation for generating electricity is estimated at 46 million tonnes this year, of which EVN’s thermal power plants need nearly 18 million tonnes.
To secure a stable volume of coal for electricity generation this year, especially for the dry season, EVN has proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade direct Vinacomin and DongBac Corporation prioritise using coal for power production.
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