25/03/2016 09:58 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Coal mining industry vows shift towards sustainability

Hanoi, March 24 (VNA) – Vietnam will develop a technologically-advanced coal mining industry with high competitiveness moving towards sustainability in the next five years to contribute to ensuring energy security.

This is the overall goal of the coal industry’s development planning to 2020, with a vision to 2030, approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung earlier last week.

The planning said that advanced technologies will be applied in all processes, from exploration to processing to providing coal for domestic production, and especially coal for electricity production. In addition, all coal mines will meet environmental standards before 2020.

Export of coal will be under a close management in order to gradually reduce export volumes and only certain types of coal, which Vietnam does not have demand for in terms of consumption, will be allowed to be shipped abroad.

This is necessary when Vietnam still has to import coal to make up for the shortage of coal for thermoelectricity production. The shortage is anticipated to become more severe by 2020.

The planning estimated that coal output will reach between 47 million tonnes and 50 million tonnes in 2020, while the country’s total demand for coal is estimated at 86.4 million tonnes, of which 64.1 tonnes will be for electricity production. By 2030, Vietnam will need totally 156.6 million tonnes of coal, while the output is estimated to be between 55 million tonnes and 57 million tonnes.

At a meeting held in November last year, the Vietnam Energy Association said that there will be a shortage of about 12 million tonnes of coal for electricity production in the next five years.

According to the planning, the total coal reserves as of the end of 2015 was estimated at 48.88 billion tonnes, more than 3 billion tonnes of which would be used for the planning to 2020 and come mainly from the Dong Bac (North East) coal basin.

Besides the Dong Bac coal basin, which stretched through Quang Ninh, Bac Giang and Hai Duong provinces, coal reserves are also located in Song Hong (Red River) coal basin which covered Thai Binh, Hung Yen and Nam Dinh provinces, and included six domestic mines and more than 100 small-scale mines.

Expansion of existing mines together with developing new ones will continue till 2030, in order to increase coal output, said the planning.

Despite the Song Hong coal basin’s huge reserves, the basin is still under exploration, which will be very tough and complicated. Between 2020 and 2030, pilot exploitation using new technologies will be carried out at Song Hong basin as a base for the development of mines on an industrial production scale.

The planning estimated that the coal mining industry will need totally 269 trillion VND (12 billion USD) by 2030.
VNA/VNP