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Dec 26, 2020 / 23:42

Gas-fueled power: Practical energy supply in Vietnam

The ratio of gas-fueled power in Vietnam’s power mix is increasing with foreign inflows in LNG power projects and terminals.

Experts in Vietnam have believed that gas-fired power could provide Vietnam with practical energy supply, especially liquefied natural gas (LNG).

A LNG tanker is tugged towards a thermal power station in Futtsu, east of Tokyo, Japan, November 13, 2017. Photo: Issei Kato/Reuters 

Gas is by far considered the cleanest fossil fuel while LNG is the meaningful solution for Gas, particularly LNG, is the only meaningful solution for Vietnam to reduce emissions in the context that the potential of hydropower is almost exhausted while solar and wind power are not reliable enough.

LNG has been considered a source of energy that is able to meet Vietnam’s rising power demand and clean enough in comparison with coal power which the country is advised to minimize from now on.

Vietnam has been on way to pursue an energy transition that reduces carbon emission and develops renewable sources in an effort to combat climate change and there will be room in the country’s mix for fossil fuels as long as they are clean, local media cited Dang Huy Dong, president of Vietnam’s Planning and Development Institute.

He attributed the choice of gas to falling fuel prices, improved efficiency and technologies. At the same time, the price of coal-fired power is rising due to supply and financial limitations.

For the aforementioned reasons, Dong, who is a former deputy minister of Planning and Investment, believes Vietnam needs to move away from coal to other sources, as China and many other countries are doing.

He said in the interests of environmental protection and sustainable development, more and more provinces in Vietnam are demanding a change from coal projects to LNG power projects.

Rapid urbanization and industrialization have driven up electricity consumption in Vietnam dramatically while the southern Vietnam was at risk of being undersupplied.

In addition to expanding capacity, Vietnam has encouraged energy efficiency and renewable energy, reduction of CO2 emissions and creation of an energy market through the National Power Development Master Plan (Power Plan 8) for the 2021-2030 period.

Furthermore, the government sees an efficient and reliable power supply as critical for socio-economic development. In 2016, it abandoned plans for nuclear development, citing safety concerns following the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. It has resulted in a shift in long-term planning to include other sources to replace the planned nuclear capacity.

Remarkably, Vietnam is also interested in greater integration of power development throughout Southeast Asia, deploying cheaper sources as well as optimizing system operations.

The move is somewhat in line with the (goals of) interconnectivity and interconnection within ASEAN, Dong noted.

In 2019, the domestic commercial energy supply was 56,650 ktoe, including 39.6% of coal-fired power, the biggest portion in the power mix, followed by petroleum electricity with 19.4%, gas power 15.8%, and hydropower 10%.