|In the future, all sludge from the Vĩnh Tân Thermal Power Centre will be used to reclaim land in an area which has seen serious erosion, the environment ministry has decided. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngọc Hà|
The information was announced at a media briefing organised by the Bình Thuận’s Party Committee’s Propaganda Department on September 7. Continue reading “Province to rebuild land with sludge”
|Tây Nam Đá Mài Coal Mine of Việt Nam National Coal – Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin) in northern Quảng Ninh Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt|
The agreed price, which has not yet been disclosed, has come into effect from September 1, according to the Ministry of Finance. Continue reading “EVN reaches coal agreement”
VietNamNet Bridge – At least 9 million tons of coal are in stock because domestic demand is low, while the coal price in Vietnam is higher than in other countries.
The Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), the largest coal miner, has been told to clear the 9 million tons of coal in stock which is believed to be the biggest hurdle for its growth and business efficiency. However, experts say it will be difficult to do.
Nguyen Thanh Son, former director of Vinacomin’s Management Board of Coal Projects in the Red River Delta, said there were many reasons behind the big stock. Continue reading “What to do with 9 million tons of coal in stock?”
The Paris-based International Energy Agency was born in a crisis. In the wake of the 1973 oil shock, as Arab petroleum producers withheld supply from countries that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur war, the then US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, called on the OECD to set up a new body to ensure its members would always have the reliable and affordable energy they needed.
Over time, as the agency has expanded its focus to map broader energy trends, it has sometimes faced accusations of conservatism – that it has underestimated the uptake of renewable energy, and has been overly bullish about the future of fossil fuels. But last month it released a report that pointed to a rupture more far reaching than the 70s oil embargo.
It suggested investment in new coal power across the globe has peaked and is on the verge of a steep decline. In a coinciding media briefing, the IEA chief economist, Laszlo Varro, declared the “century of coal” that started in 2000 – evident in the extraordinary wave of investment by emerging Asian nations – may already be over.
“It is becoming clear that Chinese coal demand has peaked,” he went on. “The outlook for imports [to] India and other countries is uncertain.”
What does this mean for Australia, producer of about 30% of the world’s coal, as it plans a vast expansion in production in outback Queensland?
The future of coalmining is really two separate questions, with their own answers. Neither is clear-cut, but thermal coal – burned in power stations to provide electricity – is on a different trajectory to higher-quality metallurgical coal, mainly used in producing steel.
About 55% of the coal Australia exports is thermal, but the 45% metallurgical coal is more lucrative, reaping nearly two-thirds of the revenue. The bulk of the thermal coal is exported from the Hunter Valley of New South Wales; most of the metallurgical product comes from Queensland. Combined, coal exports were worth $55bn last financial year. Only iron ore brings in more.
Until last year, coal prices had been on a steep downward trajectory since 2011. The surge in demand last decade prompted investment in mines across the globe but demand had slowed by the time they became operational, resulting in oversupply. By 2014, global coal use had stopped growing. In 2015, it started to decline.
Several factors were at play, many of them long-term trends. China stopped growing as rapidly, took steps to limit choking air pollution, and began to shift its economy from relying on industrial exports to a greater emphasis on services and consumption. Climate change policies began to cut into coal’s market share in developed countries. In the US, the rapid development of cheap shale gas projects made coal uneconomic before the introduction of Barack Obama’s emissions policies.
By early 2016, the IEA was reporting that 80% of Chinese coalmining operations were losing money and the companies responsible for about half of US coal production were bankrupt.
It triggered a reaction. The Communist party forced the closure of some mines, restricted operation at others, to cut Chinese production by more than 10%. The global thermal coal price quickly doubled. The price of metallurgical coal surged further, tripling in April this year after Cyclone Debbie ravaged large parts of Queensland, reducing supply from some mines. Australia’s export revenue from coal exports soared 57% in a year. Both events illustrated the potential for volatility in coal markets owing to the weather or government fiat. But the bounce was brief.
Market analysts at Citi Research last month warned investors that the outlook for coal stocks was pessimistic: major banks were financing fewer projects; Donald Trump’s much-vaunted pro-coal and anti-climate change stance was having little impact in the US.
In a report for the Australian Conservation Foundation, consultants ACIL Allen agreed. “At present, there is considerable pessimism regarding the long-term outlook for prices of thermal coal in international markets,” it said. “This is reflected in forecasts by credible Australian and international agencies.”
Citi forecasts modest growth in Australian thermal coal exports in the near term, including the potential expansion of a couple of mines. But with prices expected to fall to US$60 a tonne by the end of the decade, down from a US$110 peak late last year, it sees no incentive for investment in new major projects – especially given public opposition and investor apathy towards coal.
It makes for an unlikely environment in which to develop a mega-mine backed by public money. But that is what Australia is considering.
The Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s $21bn proposal to build a giant mine in the Galilee basin, about 340km south-west of Townsville, dates back to 2010. It has outlasted three Australian prime ministers and survived the signing of a global deal to combat climate change. Unsuccessful court battles have been waged and lost by opponents, promised imminent start dates have come and gone, and government support has steadily increased.
Though known as the Carmichael mine, if fully developed it will actually be 11 mines: six of them open-cut and five underground, spread over a length of 50km. Eventually, the company says, it could yield up to 60m tonnes a year to be shipped to burn in Indian coal plants. The rail and port infrastructure necessary would open up the possibility of reviving some of the dormant coalmining plans in the basin, with a total potential additional output of about 150m tonnes of coal a year.
To put that into context, Australia now exports about 200m tonnes. It is, by any measure, a massive expansion that could push the world measurably closer to breaching the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
The details of the Adani proposal have moved over time. It was initially proposed to run for 150 years but that has been scaled back to 60. The company promised it would create 10,000 jobs; an ACIL Allen Consulting economist contracted by the company later conceded in court a more likely figure was 1,464. And the project is promised to initially start on a smaller scale, producing 25m tonnes a year.
It has environmental approval, has been granted access to groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin, and won a four-year deferment before it has to start paying royalties to the state. In June Adani announced it had made a final investment decision and was ready to go ahead. In truth, this was spin – it was still yet to secure finance for the project (Australian banks have not been willing) – but it was ramping up pressure on the Australian government to approve a $900m low-cost loan through its Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to help to fund a railway that Adani would own and operate for itself and other potential Galilee basin miners.
Adani’s biggest champion has been the recently resigned resources minister Matt Canavan, who argued the mine should go ahead on economic, humanitarian and, most audaciously, environmental grounds. Specifically: bring jobs and growth to struggling north Queensland; help improve the lives of the 240 million Indians living without electricity; and be better for the planet given that India is building coal plants anyway, and Australian coal is a cleaner product than what is dug up in other parts of the world.
All three points have been contested. There has been significant pushback against the idea that, in a world where the demand for coal is flat at best, existing Australian mines would not lose out if the Galilee basin were developed. The coal consultancy Wood Mackenzie was commissioned to look at the issue by the $2bn Infrastructure Fund, which owns a stake in the coal-reliant Port of Newcastle, and found existing mines in southern Queensland and NSW would be hit. “Put simply, either the $1bn loan to Adani will have a significant impact on coal production and jobs in the Hunter Valley, Bowen basin and Surat basin, or the business case for the Adani rail line is deeply flawed and the promised jobs for north Queensland unlikely to materialise,” it reported.
Testing the humanitarian and environment arguments requires a closer look at the changes under way in the Indian electricity market. India is the world’s second largest importer of thermal coal. It doesn’t want to be. Its coal minister, Piyush Goyal, has repeatedly said he wants to cut imports completely. It won’t happen in the short term – some of the country’s plants were built to run using higher-quality coal, which is not available domestically – but a shift is under way. Reuters reported that demand for imported thermal coal in India fell 13% in the first seven months of this year.
Meanwhile, the country is seeing extraordinary reductions in the cost of large-scale solar power – 40% in a year – to the point where it is cheaper than domestic coal for the first time. There are questions over whether this is sustainable, but India has set an ambitious solar target of 100 gigawatts within five years. A draft national electricity plan released in December found no new coal-fired plants would be needed for a decade, and proposed coal plants with a capacity of 13.7GW – more than half Australia’s total coal fleet – were cancelled in May alone.
What does this mean for the Carmichael mine? Goyal says India does not need it, but will use the coal. Tim Buckley, of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, says a two-week trip he took to India to meet energy executives and government officials suggested a different story. “There was almost zero discussion on Carmichael,” he says. “The project is not on the radar, not expected to happen, immaterial for India’s energy plans given the progressive move away from imported thermal coal and just unbankable for Indian banks given excessive Adani group debt.”
India is not the only country rethinking the scale of its coal commitment. China has not cut imports – it is more focused on closing inefficient domestic mines – but its coal consumption peaked three years ago. It has an incredibly large fleet of generators likely to operate for decades to come, but they are running at less than 50% capacity. It cancelled 103GW of proposed coal-fired plants (more than twice the capacity of Australia’s east coast grid) this year.
Government officials note what is happening – the chief scientist Alan Finkel’s independent review of Australia’s electricity security noted that China is diversifying its energy mix, India limiting imports and South Korea cutting coal power to reduce pollution – but this shift receives little clean air in the Australian political debate, where the Minerals Council is an influential player and the major parties are supportive of a long-term source of jobs and revenue.
Misinformation is rife. Peter Freyberg, the head of coal at the mining giant Glencore, claimed that the IEA had projected that fossil fuels would provide almost 70% of energy in 2030, even if the world got its act together to limit global warming to an increase of less than 2C. He was making a point about coal’s longevity but, in reality, the IEA paints a different picture.
Yes, it estimates 64% of energy would come from fossil fuels in 2030 under this scenario – if you count electricity generation, industrial processes, transport, heating and cooking, and if you assume carbon capture and storage suddenly becomes viable. Even then, the biggest chunk would be expected to come from natural gas, which is considered a cleaner transitional fuel. The IEA found burning coal to generate electricity would decline sharply, with wind and solar providing more than half the world’s needs within 13 years. Traditional coal-fired power would be gone by mid-century.
Metallurgical coal is not expected to decline as quickly – in simple terms, there is not the readymade alternative to coal in steel manufacturing that there is in electricity generation. The IEA has forecast only a 15% drop in global trade of metallurgical coal by 2040 should the world deliver on the headline Paris agreement goals. Australia has about a fifth of the global market, and higher quality coal than many competitors, suggesting its market share should more or less hold up.
As the government points out, Australia also offers higher quality thermal coal than its competitors. But Tony Wood, energy program director at the Grattan Institute, says the numbers are compelling even once this is factored in.
“Malcolm Turnbull says coal will be part of the energy mix for the next several decades, and this is true, but it is a declining part of that mix,” Wood says.
“We may have a bigger share, but it is still a bigger share of a declining market. Unless someone does something with carbon capture and storage – or the world turns away from acting on climate change, which doesn’t seem likely – this is not an industry with a long-term future.”
Tran Tuan, director of RTCCD, a non-government organization, said the number of polluting sources, including industrial production factories, construction works and coal-fired thermal power plants, has been increasing rapidly.
Under the power development plan, Vietnam will have 40 more coal-fired plants by 2030. However, a report from Harvard University shows that the number of premature deaths in Vietnam because of coal-fired thermal power will rise from 4,300 in 2011 to 15,700 by 2030. Continue reading “Urbanites face health risks from air pollution”
Nguyễn Đăng Anh Thi (*)
Thứ Bảy, 2/5/2015, 08:13 (GMT+7)
Từ vụ ô nhiễm xỉ than của nhà máy Nhiệt điện Vĩnh Tân 2 liệu có thể yên tâm với kế hoạch đến năm 2030 sẽ có thêm gần 80 nhà máy nhiệt điện than trải dài khắp cả nước. Ảnh: TLTBKTSG.
(TBKTSG) – Nếu không có giải pháp quản lý toàn diện các trung tâm nhiệt điện than, trong thời gian không xa nữa, Việt Nam sẽ thực sự phải đối diện với thảm họa ô nhiễm môi trường nghiêm trọng hơn những gì vừa chứng kiến ở Nhà máy Nhiệt điện Vĩnh Tân 2 (Bình Thuận).
Bùng nổ nhiệt điện than
Theo Quyết định số 1208/QĐ-TTg ngày 21-7-2011 của Thủ tướng Chính phủ phê duyệt Quy hoạch phát triển điện lực quốc gia giai đoạn 2011-2020 có xét đến năm 2030 (Quy hoạch điện VII), công suất nhiệt điện than năm 2020 là 36.000 MW, chiếm 48% cơ cấu nguồn điện; và công suất nhiệt điện than năm 2030 là 75.000 MW, chiếm 51% cơ cấu nguồn điện. Continue reading “Từ vụ nhiệt điện Vĩnh Tân 2: Cảnh báo những quả bom nổ chậm khắp Việt Nam!”
VietNamNet Bridge – Associate Professor Nguyen Minh Due, chairman of the Viet Nam Energy Science Council speaks to Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper about the need to develop renewable energy in Viet Nam.
|Associate Professor Nguyen Minh Due|
Following the revised national electricity development plan by 2020, electricity generated from coal-fired thermal power plants still accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the country’s total power, while electricity generated from wind and solar sources only makes up 1-2 per cent. Why is this? Continue reading “Vietnam needs to develop renewable energy”
Băn khoăn dự án nhiệt điện tỷ đô tại Long An
Người dân tại xã Phước Vĩnh Đông ở huyện Cần Giuộc, tỉnh Long An và Hiệp Phước của huyện Nhà Bè, TPHCM không khỏi lo lắng môi trường sẽ bị ảnh hưởng nặng nề trước thông tin sẽ có nhà máy nhiệt điện tỷ đô mọc lên tại Cần Giuộc. Continue reading “Loạt bài NHIỆT ĐIỆN THAN (Phần 2)”
Thêm một nhà máy nhiệt điện than 2 tỷ USD ven biển Nam Định
Dự án FDI có quy mô đầu tư lớn nhất tại Nam Định từ trước đến nay…
Bộ Kế hoạch và Đầu tư và UBND tỉnh Nam Định đã chính thức trao giấy chứng nhận đăng ký đầu tư Dự án BOT Nhiệt điện Nam Định 1 cho Công ty TNHH Điện Lực Nam Định thứ Nhất. Continue reading “Loạt bài NHIỆT ĐIỆN THAN (Phần 1)”
Coal exports have had a sharp export growth rate. GDC said that coal exports from the beginning of the year to May 15 reached 709,624 tons, worth $106.73 million, which represented an increase of 375 percent in quantity and 660 percent in value in comparison with the same period last year. Continue reading “Coal imports/exports remain tricky problem for Vietnam”
Updated : 06/21/2017 19:17 GMT + 7
Vietnam’s biggest coal and mineral enterprise has called on the government to offer preferential treatment to clear its massive unsold inventory, but was told to find thorough solutions to its own problems instead of crying for help.
State-run Vinacomin currently has 9.3 million metric tons of coal in unsold stock, and the problem will worsen as one of its biggest buyers, Vietnam Electricity (EVN), has plans to cut its order by two million tons this year.
The coal giant lamented at a meeting with a working team of the government in Hanoi on Monday that the order reduction from EVN could see some 4,000 Vinacomin employees lose their jobs. Continue reading “Vietnam’s coal giant cries for help as unsold stock nears 10mn tons”
Hà Nội, Ngày 07 tháng 06 năm 2017
Kính gửi các thành viên Hội đồng quản trị Ngân hàng Đầu tư Cơ Sở hạ tầng Châu Á (AIIB),
Chúng tôi, những tổ chức xã hội dân sự hoạt động vì sự phát triển bền vững ở Việt Nam, trân trọng gửi tới quý vị mối quan tâm và kiến nghị về một số điểm liên quan tới Chiến lược Năng lượng của AIIB được đưa ra trong Bản thảo gần đây.
Trước hết, chúng tôi đánh giá rất cao hoạt động tham vấn của AIIB nhằm thông báo và lấy ý kiến của các bên liên quan về việc xây dựng Chiến lược Năng lượng của Ngân hàng. Đồng thời, chúng tôi cũng rất ủng hộ mục tiêu mà Chiến lược đưa ra:
“Chiến lược được xây dựng dựa trên các nguyên tắc cơ bản của sáng kiến Năng lượng Bền vững cho Tất cả mọi người (SE4ALL), Chương trình Nghị sự 2030 vì sự phát triển bền vững, và Hiệp đinh Paris (Hộp 1). Chiến lược này đưa ra khung hỗ trợ của Ngân hàng đối với các quốc gia đối tác: (i) phát triển và nâng cấp cơ sở hạ tầng năng lượng đồng thời hỗ trợ các quốc gia chuyển dịch sang cơ cấu năng lượng giảm phát thải các bon; và (ii) đạt được các mục tiêu và cam kết trong các sáng kiến toàn cầu.”
VietNamNet Bridge – Viet Nam has 20 thermal power plants now and plans to have more than double that by 2050.
Off the cuff, this makes sense. The nation is growing and needs more energy than ever.
However, if we look beyond mere numbers and visualise the social and environmental impacts of 51 coal-powered plants in the country, the rosy picture is blackened considerably, literally and otherwise.
A study published earlier this year by a group of researchers from Havard University and Greenpeace, an international non-governmental environmental organisation based in Amsterdam, cautions that by 2030, Viet Nam and Indonesia will be among the nations worst affected by coal pollution. Continue reading “Black gold and a bleak future”
Trung Quốc đầu tư 8 tỉ USD vào điện than ở VN
Từ tháng 3.2016, Trung tâm phát triển Sáng tạo Xanh GreenID đã xây dựng cơ sở dữ liệu tài chính về điện than ở VN theo từng dự án ở tất cả các giai đoạn. Bà Nguyễn Thị Hằng, chuyên gia phân tích cơ sở dữ liệu của GreenID, cho biết đến thời điểm hiện nay tổng vốn đầu tư vào nhiệt điện than gần 39,8 tỉ USD. Trong đó có 17% đến từ các ngân hàng trong nước; 31% không xác định được nguồn và 52% đến từ nước ngoài. Trong tỷ lệ vốn từ nước ngoài đầu tư vào nhiệt điện than tại VN có đến 50% đến từ Trung Quốc, tương đương 8 tỉ USD; tiếp theo là Nhật Bản 23% và Hàn Quốc 18%.
Continue reading “Trung Quốc đầu tư điện than lớn nhất tại Việt Nam”