Completing legal framework to develop a competitive gas market

August, 26/2022 - 07:54
The role of the gas industry and market is growing in importance, as it not only contributes to the growth of the economy but also ensures national energy security. Therefore, it is necessary to build a legal framework, ensuring a competitive business model for gas trading activities.
A gas pipeline of PV Gas. VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng

HÀ NỘI — The role of the gas industry and market is growing in importance, as it not only contributes to the growth of the economy but also ensures national energy security. Therefore, it is necessary to build a legal framework, ensuring a competitive business model for gas trading activities.

Between 2010 and 2020, the average growth rate of Việt Nam’s gas sector was 11.7 per cent, accounting for 2.3 per cent of final energy consumption.

However, in the primary energy structure, the proportion of gas declined from 16.1 per cent in 2010 to 8.2 per cent in 2020.

In the future, the growth of the Vietnamese gas market will largely depend on importing LNG (liquefied natural gas), Nguyễn Thanh Bình, president of Việt Nam Gas Association, said yesterday at a conference on 'Building a competitive, transparent and efficient gas market in Việt Nam'.

Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a stable supply of existing gas together with the import of LNG.

Đặng Hải Anh, head of the Oil and Gas Division under the Oil, Gas and Coal Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said that to achieve this, Việt Nam has to continue search and exploration activities to find more reserves in potential areas; give priority to investment in technical infrastructure in service of import and consumption of LNG; and ensure the ability to import 8 billion m3 of LNG in 2030 and 15 billion m3 in 2045.

Regarding LNG storage in Việt Nam, there are currently only two warehouses about to be put into operation in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu, and nearly 10 LNG storage facilities in the planning stages across the country.

At the event, Đỗ Trọng Hiệu of the Domestic Market Department, MoIT, said that the gas market still has some issues, posing challenges for companies in the industry. Therefore, the Government needs to implement measures in the future to support business activities.

Specifically, some LPG trading enterprises illegally appropriate LPG bottles from reputable enterprises, potentially causing safety risks, including gas leakages, fires, and explosions, and directly threatening property and lives. According to the Việt Nam Gas Association, currently, up to 30 per cent of LPG bottles of famous brands are being seized, appropriated, or even destroyed illegally.

Meanwhile, Bình said that Decree 87 on gas trading is loosening licencing conditions so that many participants in the gas market can take part. However, this is one of the problems. Enterprises that do not have enough capacity or investment, and not for the benefit of consumers, can take advantage of the loopholes in the decree to engage in self-seeking and illegal activities.

He proposed the Government make amendments in the direction of strengthening the management role of state agencies to ensure the gas market develops in a fair, transparent, and efficient manner and to protect the legitimate interests of businesses and consumers.

At the same time, gradually carry out measures and sanctions to reduce and eventually eliminate law-breaking enterprises.

The Decree also has not classified gas products, including LPG, CNG, and LNG, as they are all considered gas. But these products are different in nature and market.

"So in the future, we will propose to separate the gas products, so that we have clearer regulations, more suitable to the nature and market of each product," Bình said. VNS

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