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Coal industry aims to up production

Update: October, 20/2006 - 00:00

Coal industry aims to up production

(21-10-2006)

Coc 6 Coal Co’s trucks operate at a coal mine. Over the past nine months, the company has processed 2.3 million tonnes of coal, posting revenue of VND754 billion — a year-on-year increase of 37.3 per cent. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan

HA NOI — Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) will intensify its exploration, extraction and delivery efforts in an effort to ensure the nation’s energy security and sustainable development of the coal industry through 2015, Vinacomin announced.

A Ministry of Industry plan for the coal industry during the next decade, has pointed out that production, labour productivity and business growth remained low, failing to keep pace with the country’s rapid economic development. It cited the coal industry for failing to attract significant investment capital from the private sector.

Many coal processing units were also criticised for using obsolete technology that pollutes the environment.

Vinacomin currently has five open-pit mines with a capacity of more than 2 million tonnes including Cao Son, Deo Nai, Coc 6, Ha Tu and Nui Beo. It also has 15 other open-pit mines with a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes to 1 million tonnes per year.

However, the operation of many of these mines has caused significant pollution to water supplies and the surrounding environment.

Coal industry experts also stated that an estimated 200 billion-tonne coal reserve at the Hong (Red) River coal basin, was not easy to exploit due to the depth of the coal deposits.

To make up for these limitations on the expansion of domestic production, Vinacomin planned to import additional coal to maintain supplies for the electrical industry. By 2015, more than a million tonne of coal per year would likely be imported to meet the nation’s power needs, a figure that could reach 8.8 million by 2020 and 46 million by 2025.

Vinacomin growth plan

Vinacomin invested about VND3.2 billion (US$202 million) last year in developing the coal industry. In order to boost growth rates, Vinacomin would continue to accelerate its investment in mineral surveys, expansion of select coal mines and renewal of technology.

Vinaconmin’s plan anticipated investment of VND4.3 trillion annually to expand coal production in existing mines such as Deo Nai, Coc Sau, Cao Son, Khe Cham, Ha Tu and Khanh Hoa.

Vinacomin estimated that the volume of coal remained at Quang Ninh, enough to meet nearly 44 per cent of total needs over the next decade. Vinacomin said it would increase annual coal production capacity from the current 40 million tonnes to 55 million tonnes in 2015, to meet increasing demands on both the domestic and international markets. — VNS

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