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Vinacomin to ensure coal for power plants

03/11/2010

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has instructed the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) to promote its activities that it has undertaken to ensure power plants have an adequate amount of coal to run their facilities. Vinacomin should set up a team to work with the steering committee on importing coal for the thermoelectric projects, draft plans for importing coal and should monitor transport networks, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has instructed the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) to promote its activities that it has undertaken to ensure power plants have an adequate amount of coal to run their facilities.


Vinacomin should set up a team to work with the steering committee on importing coal for the thermoelectric projects, draft plans for importing coal and should monitor transport networks, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang. 


Investors at power plants should actively work with Vinacomin to create a joint strategy for importing coal and ensuring supply, Quang said.


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The ministry's Energy and Heavy Industries Department must balance coal supply and demand for power projects with respect to development plans for the energy sector, he said. 


Coal imports are integral to the nation's energy security, especially beginning in 2015 when demand for domestic coal will surpass the country's supplies, said Quang. 


Vietnam will likely begin importing coal in 2015, not in 2013, because several power plants are not operating at their fully capacity.


The steering committee managing coal imports said firms should be looking for potential, foreign coal suppliers immediately. 


A private firm recently signed an agreement with a foreign supplier to buy coal for 20 years and was willing to sign contracts with more companies, said Energy Department Director Ta Van Huong. 


An Vien Group and VinCom Group informed the Ministry of Industry and Trade that they are looking to purchase coal from Russia 's companies, Quang said. 


The steering committee will draft a legal framework to regulate coal imports soon. 


It is not clear yet but Vietnam may have to import between 3 million and 15 million tonnes of coal a year by 2015 – and 21 million to 40 million by 2020 – as more coal-fired power plants are built in the country.

By My Le

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