Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018
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ECONOMYINDUSTRY

Vietnam may face power shortage in 2019 due to thin coal supply: EVN

Updated at Thursday, 29 Nov 2018, 16:32
The Hanoitimes - If Vinacomin continues to supply coal less than the volume signed with power generators, the power shortage might happen in 2019, EVN warned.
Many thermal power plants in Vietnam’s northern region have halted operations due to thin supply of coal over the past two months, possibly causing power shortage in December and in 2019, according to Vietnam Electricity (EVN). 
 
A thermal power plant run by EVN. Photo: VNA
Since earlier this month, Quang Ninh Thermal Power Plant has stopped operating two turbines, Nghi Son Thermal Power Plant has reduced the capacity of two turbines, Hai Phong Thermal Power Plant has suspended the operations of one turbine, and Thai Binh Thermal Power Plant has worked under the maximum capacity. 

Meanwhile, the demand for electricity increases by 600 million MW in the two remaining months of the year. 

As estimated by EVN, its power producers need to consume as much as 3.08 million tons of coal to generate power required for December, but Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation (Vinacomin), the biggest miner in the country, would supply just around 2.05 million tons. 

Vinacomin is contracted to supply roughly 18.7 million tons of coal this year, but it might fail to supply enough the volume signed with EVN’s power generators, putting a number of plants into perfunctory operations, EVN said in a report sent to a government meeting on November 28 chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung. 

If Vinacomin continues to supply coal less than the volume signed with power producers, the power shortage might happen in 2019 as drought remains rampant in the central and Central Highlands regions where many hydropower plants are located while gas-fueled power plants in the south are showing poor performances, EVN warned. 

In response to EVN’s claims, Vinacomin’s Deputy General Director Nguyen Hoang Trung blamed EVN for signing short-term purchasing contracts which are leaving Vinacomin passive in supplying.

To feed power generation, Vietnam has begun importing coal since 2014. In 2017, the country imported 14.48 million tons of coal, including 42% from Indonesia, 25% from Australia, and 17% from Russia. 
Linh Pham
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