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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Vinacomin finds it hard to ensure adequate coal

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The record-high price of coal, coupled with import woes, is preventing the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) from importing coal, making it tough to ensure sufficient coal supply for thermal power plants as ordered by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Last week, the ministry asked Vinacomin and another firm to provide coal for power stations as committed in their signed contracts, ordering the two to ensure adequate coal for the plants.

Heavy reliance on the quantity and quality of imported coal also delayed the supply of coal in the first quarter of 2022, according to Vinacomin’s recent dispatch to the ministry.

In the first three months of the year, the firm imported a mere 325,000 tons of coal. As such, the supply of blended coal for the thermal power plants in the first quarter amounted to some 1.1 million tons, equivalent to 7.8% of the full-year target, dropping by 2.4 million tons against the first-quarter target.

Though Vinacomin and other units have adopted multiple solutions, including mobilizing coal inventories, blending domestic coal and ramping up production capacity, to increase the output of locally-produced clean coal, but failed to compensate for the shortage of a blend of imported coal and domestic one, said Vinacomin.

Besides, the firm attributed the failure in importing coal as scheduled in the first three months of the year to the delay in approving the prices of mixed coal proposed by Vinacomin. It was not until March 2 that Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) approved the prices. As a result, the firm missed several opportunities to import coal for blending.

Between January and March, Vinacomin turned out some 10.4 million tons of coal, reaching 26.5% of the full-year target and inching up 4.5% year-on-year.

As of March 14, Vinacomin supplied thermal power plants over 6.3 million tons of coal, meeting 17.15% of the contracted volume, the local media reported.

Under the plan, Vinacomin will supply 43 million tons of coal in 2022, with 1.8 million tons to be imported.

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