HANOI – Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) has promised to ensure adequate coal for thermal power plants nationwide though coal extraction has been hard hit by heavy rain and floods in Quang Ninh Province.
Nguyen Van Bien, deputy general director of Vinacomin, said on August 4 that the group has around 7.5 million tons of coal in stock, with three million tons at ports ready for delivery to power plants.
“We will provide 50,000 tons a day in the coming days and will guarantee sufficient supplies for customers after one week,” Bien said.
Vinacomin said the heaviest rain in Quang Ninh in four decades has dealt a blow to its coal production activity.
Floodwaters have swollen at coal mines like Nga Hai, Mong Duong and Cai Da in the northern province. Vinacomin reckoned that it would take three to five months to cope with the aftermath of severe flooding at Mong Duong mine.
In addition, around 30 million cubic meters of water and one million cubic meters of sludge has submerged mines on the ground.
According to the report, coal transport from mines to ports has been disrupted as landslides have blocked roads and railways used for coal transport. Besides, mudslides have affected coal production.
Pha Lai, Quang Ninh, Haiphong and Uong Bi power plants face no immediate coal undersupply as their current coal reserves are enough for them to generate electricity for 15-20 more days. Coal can be supplied for Mong Duong, Mao Khe and Cam Pha power stations when rain abates as they are near coal mines.
Bien said priority will be given to Duyen Hai 1 and Vinh Tan 2 stations as they are far from coal mines and have small volumes of coal left.
Vinacomin and Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) have set up a working group in charge of supplying coal for power plants.
According to Vinacomin, coal supplies have been disrupted since July 26 and only 24,000 tons had been supplied daily from July 26 to on August 4, equivalent to one-fifth of the total volume of previous days. Of which, 20,000 tons is supplied for power plants and the remainder for cement and fertilizer producers and other consumers.
Despite a coal undersupply, coal-fired power plants have not been suspended.
Rain in Quang Ninh Province ebbed on August 4 morning and Vinacomin has since loaded more coal onto ships to supply power plants.
Power plants have been asked to prepare more coal reserves in the coming time to minimize the impact of torrential rain and flooding on their operations.
According to the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, torrential rain and severe floods in northern Vietnam killed 11 people and injured 11 others on August 1-3. Three people were reported missing.
With 17 deaths recorded in Quang Ninh Province earlier, the death toll in northern provinces has risen to 28. In addition, one fishing boat sank off Quang Ninh, leaving one dead and five missing.