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Vietnam sees domestic coal demand surging nearly 80% by 2020

Singapore — Coal demand in Vietnam is likely to jump to 86.4 million mt/year by 2020 from an estimated 47.5 million mt in 2016, according to a government report released Friday.

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Coal demand is expected to surge to 121.5 million mt/year by 2025 and to 156.6 million mt/year by 2030, according to the report.

The country's power sector is expected to be the biggest buyer of coal, consuming about 33.2 million mt in 2016 or about 69.9% of the estimated total coal consumption in the year.

Power sector consumption is expected to rise to 64.1 million mt or 74.2% of the total by 2020, about 96.5 million mt or 79.4% of the total by 2025 and 131.1 million mt or 83.7% of the total by 2030, the report said.

Cement, fertilizer, chemical, steel industries and others are expected to consume the rest.

Vietnam produced 41.5 million mt of coal in 2015, up 1.7% from 40.8 million mt in 2014, statistics show.

For the whole of 2015, Vietnam imported 6.96 million mt of coal, the highest on record for any year, surging 124.8% on the year.

The imports last year came mainly from Indonesia (1.948 million mt, up 24.3% year on year), China (1.744 million mt, up 267.8% year on year) and Australia (1.441 million mt, rising 165.3% on year), the country's customs data showed.

The country is expected to produce 41 million-44 million mt in 2016; 47 million-50 million mt/year by 2020; 51 million-54 million mt/year by 2025 and 55 million-57 million mt/year by 2030.

Vietnam was estimated to have 46.62 billion mt of coal resources and 2.26 billion mt of coal reserves as of end-2015, the government said in the report.

The northern basin of the Red River Delta is estimated to contain 42 billion mt of coal resources, which is followed by the northeastern basin with 4 billion mt.

Vietnam National Coal Mineral Industries Holding Corp Limited, better known as Vinacomin, in September last year kicked off a government-approved project to explore coal reserves in the Red River Delta.

The country also plans to finish by 2020 construction of the Duyen Hai coal terminal in the southern province of Tra Vinh. The terminal will be capable of handling up to 40 million mt/year of coal and receiving vessels of up to 160,000 dwt.

Imported coal via the terminal will be allocated to several power complexes in the southern region.

--Staff report,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,