EVN worried irregular coal supply would affect electricity production

By Anh Minh   February 12, 2023 | 06:54 pm PT
EVN worried irregular coal supply would affect electricity production
The Thai Binh 2 Thermal Power Plant in the northern Thai Binh Province is about to start operation. Photo by PetroVietnam
Power generation will be hit this year if coal supply is interrupted, Vietnam Electricity has warned.

It is expected that coal demand would increase this year with the commissioning of the Thai Binh 2 Thermal Power Plant in the namesake northern province, EVN recently informed the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

If coal supply does not improve, power generation would be affected, it said.

Last year supply to most thermal power plants was unreliable, affecting their operation, it said.

For example, supply by the state-owned Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) and Dong Bac Corporation to the Thai Binh Thermal Power Plant was irregular, it said.

There were times in the fourth quarter when they could only supply imported mixed coal.

As a result, coal stocks at the plant in November and December were only 10,000 tons, enough for about two days of operation, forcing it to shut down a turbine.

In addition, with imported coal being expensive, EVN said it is possible that the group will have to continue cutting coal imports and because of that, the operation of power plants using imported coal, such as Vinh Tan 4 in central Binh Thuan Province, will be affected.

EVN wanted the ministry to direct the two coal suppliers to give priority to power generation.

It also needs to ensure the correct technical requirements of each plant are matched since it is feared that Vinacomin would supply completely mixed coal to EVN's plants this year.

Mixed coal affects power generation, especially during peak times in the dry season.

Last year EVN's production costs skyrocketed as the price of coal went up, and it reported a loss of VND28 trillion (US$1.18 billion).

It had said last year it wanted power prices to be managed in the same way as that of fuel by taking into account the cost of production and not by keeping them fixed at certain levels.

Costs had surged with oil and gas prices rising by double-digits and that of coal by 600%, but electricity prices remained the same as in 2019, EVN CEO Tran Dinh Nhan said at a meeting last December.

The average retail price of electricity is VND1,864.44 per kilowatt-hour.

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