Power shortage looms in Vietnam as floods cut off coal hub

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Residents collect coal washed away by floods and heavy rain in Quang Ninh Province. Photo: Ngoc Thang Residents collect coal washed away by floods and heavy rain in Quang Ninh Province. Photo: Ngoc Thang

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Electricity of Vietnam is urging people to save electricity warning about a shortage of coal for thermal plants after torrential rains hit Quang Ninh, cutting off roads and halting production in the country’s main coal mining area.
The state-owned power supplier said several plants would run out of coal in four to 20 days.
Coal has not been transported to ports and Cam Pha and Hon Gai areas due to heavy rain in Quang Ninh since July 26, threatening supply thermal plants nationwide, especially Duyen Hai 1 in the Mekong Delta and Vinh Tan 2 in the central region.
The Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) and EVN held an emergency meeting recently to find alternative coal suppliers and reconnect roads for coal transport.
At a regular press briefing by the government Friday, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung admitted that several thermal plants are using last coal stocks.
“We have instructed EVN to mobilize power from other sources like hydropower plants if heavy rains linger to ensure power supply.”
A low-pressure area has caused heavy rains in Quang Ninh Province since July 26, triggering floods and landslides that have killed at least 17 people and inflicted losses of VND2 trillion (US$92 million).
Some 1,500 tourists were stranded on Co To Island near Ha Long Bay due to rough seas since July 26. All of them have been rescued by August 2.
Coal mines in Quang Ninh have suspended operations and much coal has been washed down by the flood waters to rivers and residential areas.
The low pressure area has triggered rains throughout the north, threatening floods and landslides in the north-west mountains, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

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