Vietnam plans to raise its annual coal imports to 46.5 million tonnes by 2025 and to 123.7 million tonnes by 2045 from 36 million tonnes last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.
The Southeast Asian country, a regional manufacturing powerhouse, turned from a net coal exporter to a net importer nearly a decade ago and has been increasingly reliant on imported coal for its power generation. Indonesia and Australia have been its key coal suppliers.
The ministry said Vietnam is seeking to import more coal from South Africa, adding such imports totalled 7.5 million tonnes last year.
Earlier this month, the ministry said Vietnam was also seeking to import more coal from Australia to ease a shortage of the fossil fuel for electricity production.
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Vietnam’s state-run utility EVN last month warned of electricity shortages from April due to tight coal supplies, adding that several of its coal-fired power plants had to cut their run rates.
Its coal imports in the first quarter fell 24.5% year-on-year to 6.43 million tonnes, but the value of those imports more than doubled to $1.48 billion, according to the government’s customs data.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)