Vietnam may defer coal imports to 2015 on power plant delay

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Vietnam may defer its coal imports until 2015 from 2012 as power plants are delayed, according to the state-owned coal producer.

Power projects in the country, which is facing a shortage of electricity, have been halted because of a lack of financing amid the global financial crisis, Dinh Quang Trung, general manager of Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Group, said today at the Coaltrans Asia conference in Bali, Indonesia.

Vietnam may face a shortage of almost 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity this year with consumption possibly increasing as much as 18 percent, the government said April 6.

Imports of power-station coal will increase to about 6 million metric tons a year in 2015 and rise to almost 40 million tons by 2025, Trung said. Independent power producers may import 250,000 tons of coal from Indonesia this year, he said.

New power plants with a combined capacity of about 9,500 megawatts including Duyen Hai 3, Vinh Tan 3, Vung Ang 3 and Quang Trach may depend on imported coal, according to Trung. Demand for coal will be greater in the northern and southern parts of the country.

Domestic supplies to power plants may rise to above 50 million tons from a little less than 10 million now, Trung said.

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