The Vietnamese government sees the country's coal imports steadily rising over the next decade before peaking at around 85mn t in 2035, led by demand from utilities.
Coal imports are projected to reach about 73mn t by 2030 and rise further by about 12mn t to their peak in 2035, according to the government's latest national energy master plan.
The master plan, approved on 26 July, expects a gradual decline in imports to about 50mn t in 2045 and zero by 2050 in line with the country's plans to transition away from coal power. Vietnam imported about 32mn t of all types of coal in 2022, customs data show.
The projection of an increase in imports is in line with anticipated demand from existing and upcoming coal-fired power plants in the country. Coal-fired generation accounted for 49.5pc of Vietnam's power generation of 134.98TWh during January-June, according to data from state-owned utility EVN.
Vietnam's reliance on imports is driven by limited domestic coal reserves. Domestic coal production is expected to be in a 41mn-47mn t/yr range by 2030, before declining to 39mn t by 2045 and 33mn t by 2050, according to the national energy master plan. Domestic coal production was at 49.77mn t in 2022, according to the country's General Statistics Office.
The government also aims to explore output from its Red River coal basin by 2040, if periodical surveys are successful. The basin is estimated to contain about 40bn t of coal reserves, although some studies indicate a geological resource of as high as 210bn t in the basin.
The plan also sees Vietnam continuing to export 2mn-3mn t/yr of high-quality coal during 2021-2030. The coal is not consumed locally, the master plan said, and the country should look to boost exports further between 2031 and 2050.
Vietnam aims to bolster its energy security through the implementation of the master plan. The plan also envisages growth in domestic oil and gas production and an increase in renewable and overall electricity generation.
The move towards attaining energy security is expected to support Vietnam's plans to achieve an average GDP growth rate of about 7pc/yr in 2021-2030 and about 6.5-7.5pc/yr in 2031-2050, the plan said. Vietnam's GDP expanded by 4.14pc in the April-June quarter from a year earlier.
Vietnam aims to boost generation from non-coal sources of energy as part of plans to reduce its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It plans to reach GHG emissions of about 101mn t by 2050 from about 399mn-449mn t in 2030. Vietnam envisages reducing GHG emissions by 17-26pc by 2030 and by 90pc by 2050 without providing a baseline year.
Total final energy demand is projected at 107mn t of oil equivalent by 2030 and 165mn-184mn t of oil equivalent by 2050, the national energy master plan said. Total primary energy supply is estimated at 155mn t of oil equivalent in 2030 and 294mn-311mn t of oil equivalent in 2050.
Domestic crude oil production is expected to reach 6mn-9.5mn t/yr (120,000-191,000 b/d) in 2021-2030 and be in a 7mn-9mn t/yr range in 2031-2050, according to the plan. Vietnamese natural gas production is expected to reach 5.5bn-15bn m³/yr in 2021-2030 and rise to 10bn-15bn m³/yr on average over 2031-2050.
Vietnam also aims to increase its green hydrogen production capacity to about 100,000-200,000 t/yr by 2030 and further to about 10mn-20mn t/yr by 2050. It did not give details of current production levels. argusmedia
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