Coal, crude oil imports see upsurge

By Dat Nguyen   November 13, 2019 | 07:45 pm PT
Coal, crude oil imports see upsurge
Workers pick out gravel from coal at a coal port in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Vietnam’s coal and crude oil imports increased in the first ten months this year as energy demand rose alongside economic expansion.

Between January and October, the country’s crude oil imports rose 80.6 percent from a year earlier to 6.8 million tons, valued at $3.2 billion, according to Vietnam Customs. As much as 96 percent of crude oil was imported from Kuwait and the rest from Brunei.

Crude oil output in the first ten months of this year fell 7.2 percent from a year earlier to 9.3 million tons, according to the General Statistics Office. Coal output rose 10.5 percent to 37.9 million tons.

Coal imports doubled year-on-year to 36.8 million tons valued at $3.25 billion in the first 10 months, Vietnam Customs data shows. The majority of imports were from Australia, Indonesia, Russia, China and Japan.

Vietnam has been warned that it needs to stop investing in new coal-fired power plants due to their environmental impacts, said a report released earlier this month by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in collaboration with Denmark’s energy agency.

Vietnam’s coal imports could triple between now and 2030 as demand for power rises in lockstep with a rapidly growing economy, Jakob Stenby Lundsager, an adviser in Vietnam to the Danish Energy Partnership, said at the release of the Vietnam Energy Outlook Report 2019 on November 4.

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