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Vietnam to start LNG imports in 2022 as key step in lowering emissions, energy security: minister


Government approves Son My LNG project, says minister

Vietnam's LNG import demand to increase to 10 million mt by 2030

Draft decree details GHG reduction plan ahead of January 2022 enforcement

  • Author
  • Takeo Kumagai    with Vietnam Newsdesk
  • Editor
  • Wendy Wells
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture Coal Energy Transition LNG Natural Gas Oil
  • Topic
  • COP26 Energy Transition Environment and Sustainability

Vietnam aims to start importing LNG in 2022 and sees LNG among its solutions for lowering carbon emissions and ensuring the country's energy security, Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien said.

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"With the goal to start importing LNG in 2022, import demand will increase to about 5 million mt of LNG in 2025, 10 million mt by 2030 and 15 million mt by 2035," Dien said in a pre-recorded video address ahead of the Japan-hosted 10th LNG Producer-Consumer Conference on Oct. 5.

"Vietnam is currently conducting research, searching for markets and accelerating construction of terminal infrastructure to be ready to receive and import LNG," he said.

The Son My LNG project, Vietnam's largest LNG to power project, has been approved by the Vietnamese government and "many other projects proposed by foreign enterprises are under consideration," Dien added.

Vietnam deems LNG "one of the most important solutions" to ensuring its energy security amid declining domestic natural resource production and robust economic growth, Dien said.

The Southeast Asian country is counting on both LNG imports and developing new gas resources to compensate for declining domestic production in ensuring gas supply to households, Dien said, adding this was detailed in the Vietnam Energy Development Strategy to 2030 with a vision to 2050 and the Vietnam Energy Master Plan.

Amid signs its domestic resources of coal, oil and natural gas were depleting, the Vietnamese government has set a target of boosting development of renewable and sustainable energy resources, Dien said.

Vietnam is viewing current pandemic-led challenges as "an opportunity" to review its traditional energy supply model and promote "a sustainable energy transition" under the Paris Agreement, Dien said.

"Vietnam believes that LNG plays an important role in helping the world solve the problem of climate change," he said, citing it as a cleaner fuel than fuel oil and diesel.

Drafting decree

Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is drafting a decree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the country's commitments set out in its Nationally Determined Contribution to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement that will be signed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and come into force Jan. 1, 2022.

Under its updated NDC submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in September 2020, Vietnam targets reducing GHG emissions by 9%, or 83.9 million mt of CO2 equivalent, by 2030 from its "business-as-usual" scenario. Around 51.5 million mt of CO2e or 61.4% of the total will be reduced in the energy sector, 9.3 million mt in land-use changes and forestry, 9.1 million mt in waste treatment, 7.2 million mt in industrial processes and 6.8 million mt in agriculture.

Vietnam is further aiming to raise its emission reductions target to a conditional 27%, with international support.

Under the draft decree, companies and plants with annual GHG emissions above 3,000 mt of CO2e will be required to submit records of their emissions.

The environment ministry on Aug. 25 estimated that the decree would apply to 2,200 companies and plants; 1,800 under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 250 the Ministry of Construction, 90 the Ministry of Transport and 80 the environment ministry, which in total account for about 30% of Vietnam's total emissions.

Under the draft decree, these ministries must submit annual emissions inventory reports that cover the companies and plants in their respective sectors.

The environment ministry, in coordination with other ministries, provinces and cities, will submit its list of plants and companies that are subject to the decree before March 31, 2022, while the other ministries are required to make their reports public over 2023-2025 and 2026-2030.

Plants and companies that are required to submit their emission inventory and mitigation plans for 2023-2025 by Dec. 31, 2022 are not required to implement a emission reduction plan in the period, while those required to submit their plans for 2026-2030 by Dec. 31, 2025 must implement their emission reduction plan, according to the quotas allocated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Vietnam also plans to begin a trial run of its carbon credit market in 2026 and formally operate the market from Jan. 1, 2028. It will be established and operated by the Ministry of Finance.

The decree also aims to place controls on several substances that are harmful to the ozone layer over 2022-2040, including bromochloromethane, carbon tetrachloride, chlorofluorocarbon, hydrobromofluorocarbon, hydrochlorofluorocarbon, methyl bromide and methyl chloroform.