HANOI Feb 10 State oil and gas group
Petrovietnam is looking to buy around 10 million tonnes of coal
a year, mostly from Australia and Indonesia, to feed domestic
thermal power plants from 2017, a company official said on
Vietnam, a net coal exporter, has been cutting its annual
export volumes of the fossil fuel in recent years to fill
growing demand from coal-fired power plants at home. Domestic
output has also been falling after decades of mining activity.
"We have to feed three thermal power plants, with operation
slated to start from 2017," said the official at Petrovietnam
Power Coal Import and Supply Co (PV Power Coal), the importing
arm of the state group.
The plants, two of which are being developed in the Mekong
Delta in the country's southern region and another scheduled in
the central province of Quang Binh, need a combined 10 million
tonnes of coal annually, he said.
Most of Vietnam's coal reserves lies in the northern region,
including Quang Ninh province, the coal hub, and in the Red
River basin, where most of the thermal fuel remains untapped.
PV Power Coal has signed initial framework agreements for a
combined annual volume of up to 12 million tonnes with mining
firms in Indonesia and Australia, including Australia's Ensham
Coal Sales, the Vietnamese company said in an undated statement.
Apart from Petrovietnam, Vinacomin, the country's top mining
group, has also been building coal-fired power plants. It is
seeking to buy coal from Australia and Russia, and has already
been importing a small volume of Indonesian coal since 2011.
Last year Vietnam's coal exports dropped to 12.8 million
tonnes, down nearly 16 percent from 2012, based on government
data. The country does not publish coal import data in its
Coal accounts for a third of Southeast Asia's energy mix and
natural gas for 44 percent, according to the International
Energy Agency (IEA), which formulates energy policy for
Power generation capacity in the region is set to rise by 50
percent during the current decade, of which more than half will
be coal-fired, the IEA said in December.
(Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Tom Hogue)