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Vietnam coal consumption growth among world’s fastest

Workers pick out gravel from coal at a coal port in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

The country consumed 2.07 exajoules of electricity from coal last year, up 30.2 percent year-on-year, according to the “BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020” report by energy firm BP.

This makes Vietnam the 10th largest consumer of coal in the world behind China, India and the U.S. at the top.

Vietnam’s coal consumption has been rising each year since 2012. The growth rate of 30.2 percent is over two times the average 12.3 percent annually recorded in the 2008-2018 period, the report stated.

Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam ranks second to Indonesian consumption, it added.

Vietnam’s coal imports surged to a record high in the first half of the year, showing its rising reliance on coal-fired power plants despite the government trying to boost renewables and liquefied natural gas as alternative power sources.

The country this month received its first coal shipment from the U.S., paving the way for further imports amid rising demand to produce electricity.

In a plan it is drafting, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has ruled out building coal-fired power plants after 2030, when it will prioritize renewables and liquefied natural gas.