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Vietnam Energy Forum

Proposing the investors of coal power plants to develop a fuel conversion plan

 - The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has just issued a document proposing the investors of coal-fired power plants develop a fuel conversion plan. Specifically, converting coal fuel to biomass fuel and ammonia when the power plant has operated for 20 years. And proposing to develop a plan to stop operation when the plant has operated for coal power plants that cannot convert fuel, or do not capture CO2 when the plants have operated for 40 years.

The document of MOIT was sent to Vietnam Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN), Vietnam National Coal - Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), Power Generation Corporation 1, 2, 3, and PetroVietnam Power Corporation, Vinacomin Power Corporation and investors of coal-fired thermal power plants in Vietnam.

MOIT informed, In the Power Development Planning (PDP) VIII, there are regulations on the orientation of converting fuels to biomass and ammonia for coal-fired power plants that have been operating for 20 years with the suitable costs and stopping the operation of the coal power plants with a life of over 40 years if fuel conversion is not possible.

To implement the above requirements of the Prime Minister, MOIT proposes the investors of coal-fired thermal power plants with the following specific contents:

Firstly: Researching and developing a plan to convert coal to biomass and ammonia with ensuring economic efficiency when the power plants operate full 20 years.

Secondly: For coal power plants that cannot convert fuel, or do not capture CO2, research and develop a plan to stop operation when the plants have operated for 40 years.

The Investors are proposed to urgently implement and report to MOIT before July 15, 2023.

Previously, MOIT hosted a meeting with the investors of coal-fired power plants to discuss the energy conversion roadmap outlined in PDP VIII. Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Nguyen Tai Anh – EVN Deputy General Director informed: At present EVN is managing and operating 15 coal-fired power plants including 36 units, with a total installed capacity of 12,633 MW. Which, 2 units with a capacity of 600 MW have been operating for more than 20 years; 4 units with a capacity of 440MW have been operating for nearly 40 years and 4 units with a total capacity of 100 MW have been operating for nearly 50 years. By 2030, EVN will have 4 units with a total capacity of 1,230 MW operating for more than 20 years.

EVN has been researching, testing and planning to convert a number of units in the coal-fired plants such as Expanded Uong Bi (unit S7), Quang Ninh (S1, S2) with the expected fuel type as biomass, ammonia… But the main difficulty is that the current ammonia burning and mixing technology in the world has not been completed (new technology is only in the testing phase). No power plant in Vietnam has ever improved, tested ammonia co-firing and evaluated its economic, technical, as well as impacts on people, the environment, and equipment.

On the other hand, at present, the ability to supply ammonia or biomass fuels in Vietnam is still limited and does not guarantee the supply for long-term and stable operation.

The Vinacomin, Power Generation Corporations 1, 2, 3 and some other investors are worried about the prices of biomass fuel, and ammonia in the market being higher than the price of coal. Meanwhile, we do not yet have a mechanism or policy to support conversion prices for the plants to implement co-burn this fuel so the plants to expand testing. Therefore, the investors propose the Government MOIT to soon have a roadmap and specific mechanisms and policies (on the planning of biomass materials, financial support, and electricity prices) as a basis for thermal power plants to deploy.

And the opinions of the BOT coal-fired thermal power projects owners (Nghi Son 2, Vinh Tan 1, Duyen Hai 2) considered that: The terms of PPA that have been signed, when converting fuel production cost will be higher than the price agreed in PPA. So, how will the remaining time of the contract be implemented? The additional costs for technology conversion and conversion fuel costs will be borne by which party? etc…

Concluding the meeting, Minister Nguyen Hong Dien proposed the investors and owners of coal-fired power plants strictly implement Directive 29 dated November 2, 2019, Prime Minister, and at the same time develop a roadmap to convert fuel, express determination by a commitment to the Government of Vietnam through MOIT.

The investors need to actively search and propose mechanisms and policies of countries and international organizations based on their commitments and statements on the forums...

MOIT assigned the Electricity and Renewable Energy Department to preside over and lead relevant units to continue studying mechanisms and policies (based on the commitments of international organizations to put up the original policy). According to experts of Vietnam Energy Magazine: With the challenges of co-firing technology (only in the testing stage), the current fuel costs and electricity price policy... the way forward to ammonia to replace coal fuel in Vietnam is certainly long. In the immediate future, in order to ensure the security of the power supply (to avoid the current crisis of lack of power plants), the Government, ministries, and agencies need to focus on speeding up approvals for early investment in gas power sources (in the O Mon Power Center), LNG power plants in PDP VIII and soon as possible to promulgate necessary regulations to deploy offshore wind power and rooftop solar power projects.

VietnamEnergy.vn

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