|Coal mining in the northern province of Quang Ninh. According to the Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation, the country will have to import coal from 2016. — Photo baoquangninh.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The domestic coal supply still meets the demand, but the country will have to import coal from 2016, according to the Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation.
The corporation said that in the long run, the demand for coal in the domestic market will rise sharply, especially after 2018 for electricity generation that might need 50 million tonnes by 2020.
The rising demand will require the country to import coal. It is estimated that coal imports will reach a volume of 20 to 30 million tonnes by 2020, the corporation said.
To prepare for the rising demand, besides signing import contracts with foreign coal suppliers, the corporation has also planned to co-operate in coal mining with foreign partners in coal-rich countries in a move to improve the supply of coal in the future.
The government has recently approved the inclusion of at least eight projects in the country's coal industry development planning for 2020 to 2030 to meet the domestic demand, especially for electricity.
Viet Nam's electricity demand is expected to rise by an average of 14 per cent a year during the 2015-20 period, while coal is expected to play an increasingly important role in meeting that demand. Viet Nam has been relying solely on domestic coal, but supplies are proving to be increasingly scarce and more costly to retrieve.
The majority of Vietnamese coal is mined in the northern region, including Quang Ninh province, the coal hub, and in the Red River basin where most of its reserves remain untapped. — VNS