Vietnam to import coal from Australia amid power shortage fears

By Anh Minh   April 2, 2022 | 12:00 am PT
Vietnam to import coal from Australia amid power shortage fears
Coal storages are seen at Nghi Son 1 power plant in central Thanh Hoa province. Photo courtesy of EVN
Vietnam wants to import around five million tonnes of coal from Australia amid a domestic shortage that has forced power plants to cut production.

Apprising Australian ambassador Robyn Mudie about this on Friday Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien sought his help to link up Vietnamese companies with their Austrian counterparts so that they could start buying the coal this month.

Australia is one of the world’s biggest coal exporters.

The trade ministry is also looking for sources in South Africa.

National utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) said this week that several thermal power plants in the northern and central regions are cutting down production to 60-70 percent due to a coal shortage.

It also warned of the risk of power shortages from this month.

But the trade ministry has said there will be no power shortages this year.

It is mobilizing around 3,700 megawatts from other coal- and gas-fired plants and renewable and hydropower sources.

EVN said that by 2025 another 5,500 megawatts of renewables is needed to ward off power shortages.

It has also called for incentives for rooftop solar.

The company is seeking the government’s permission to build wind power plants in the north. Most plants now are in the central and southern regions.

Coal-fired plants accounted for 43.6 percent of total power generation in February, according to EVN.

Vietnam promised to achieved net zero emissions by 2050 at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in the U.K. last November.

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