Vinacomin urged to strengthen

January 12, 2017 - 09:56

The Việt Nam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin) should have a suitable structure to develop its members to become a strong economic group, said Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng.

Workers at a coal mine in Quảng Ninh Province. Vinacomin stated in their year end report that 2017 would require structural development for all its members. — Photo VNA/VNS Trọng Đạt

HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin) should have a suitable structure to develop its members to become a strong economic group, said Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng.

Speaking at the conference held in Hà Nội yesterday, Dũng said Vinacomin should focus on two main tasks of coal exploitation and trading to ensure national energy security. In addition, it should improve competitiveness for its products and protect the environment to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.

“In addition, Vinacomin must be one of the key State-owned enterprises in ensuring coal supply to the economy. The group should not only produce coal but ensure the competitiveness of exported coals, materials and operation for plants using coal,” he said.

He added that the electricity demand has been on the rise. Thermal power plants account for 34 per cent of total electricity plants in Việt Nam.

In the near future, the number of thermal power plants would be higher as the number of hydropower plants has not increased while the development of renewable energy plants has been slow.

“This year, the coal balance for local demand has been enough. However, the country would have to import 20 million tonnes of coal by 2020, 50 million tonnes by 2025 and 80-100 million tonnes by 2030. This will be a big challenge for the economy in general and the energy sector in particular,” he said, adding that Vinacomin should be active in their coal exploitation and imports to meet local demand.

The Deputy PM also asked Vinacomin to improve the quality of exploration of coal and other natural resources. These would form a scientific foundation for exploitation planning and the prevention of environmental disasters.

He also required the group to improve the quality of investment projects to avoid losses. The coal sector should have solutions in place to protect the environment in coal exploitation, transport and usage. In addition, Vinacomin should concentrate on restructuring and reviewing its key products in each investment period. It should also invest into technologies and human resources to increase productivity and labour safety.

Vinacomin’s general director Đặng Thanh Hải said it has set a target of 36 million tonnes of coal this year, an increase of 1.5 million tonnes from 2016, while domestic coal consumption would be 34.5 million tonnes, and 1.5 million tonnes for export.

It also targeted a turnover of VNĐ107 trillion (US$4.75 billion), posting a 6 per cent year-on-year increase.

Hải said the Government has allowed coal exports in the 2017-20 period to help the sector’s activity in production and trade.

He said the coal price for electricity production has been increased following market prices. However, the costs of production, exploration, labour and environmental protection has also been higher, decreasing the sector’s profits, while increasing need for capital investment.

He said Vinacomin would produce coal according to the market’s demand, ensuring suitable investments in coal, minerals, electricity, industries and support services.

“We would continue to complete restructuring which focuses on technology renewal and management mechanisms to reduce production costs and enhance competitiveness. The issues of salary, working conditions and welfare for labourers would be also given attention,” he added.

PM allows Formosa to import own coal

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has allowed the Taiwanese Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Co Ltd (Formosa) to import coal for electricity production at its thermal power plant in southern Đồng Nai Province.

The Government Office said the PM assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to require investors of thermal power plants, Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN), Việt Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Vinacomin to calculate coal demand for electricity production at the moment and in the future to have specific plans to ensure sufficient materials for plants’ operation.

In addition, Vinacomin, Đông Bắc Corporation and other businesses were granted licences for coal exploration and trading activities to calculate their coal supply abilities for thermal power plants and household consumption.

The MoIT would co-operate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vinacomin and relevant agencies to study coal resources in the Hồng (Red River) Coal Basin to ensure coal for electricity production in the future.

Vinacomin, Đông Bắc Corporation and other units are required to build coal supply plans over the long-term to serve EVN’s thermal power plants.

Earlier, Formosa sent a document to import coal themselves for power generation of Nhơn Trạch 3 Thermal Power Plant without going through two major Vietnamese importers, Vinacomin and Đông Bắc Coal Corporation.

It said that since 2001, they asked the Government for coal imports as it said the quality of local coal is not good enough, nor compatible with the technology used at its thermal power plant.

Following Formosa, Vedan Việt Nam Enterprise Corporation Limited (Vedan Việt Nam) is the second 100 per cent foreign-owned company that submitted a proposal to the PM, the MoIT, the Ministry of Finance, and the General Department of Việt Nam Customs to import coal for electricity production in its coal-fired boiler without going through domestic intermediaries. However, the PM has yet to give directions regarding Vedan’s proposal. — VNS