Vietnam’s imports of crude oil, coal and gas in the first five months of 2023 rose strongly from a year earlier, despite a plunge in overall imports, official data showed on Monday.
Imports of crude oil in the January-May period rose 39.9% from a year earlier to 4.66 million tonnes, while coal imports increased 27.9% to 15.56 million tonnes, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said in a report.
Those contrast a 17.9% fall in Vietnam’s overall imports in the period.
Most of coal imports were for power plants. Coal is set to remain a crucial source of energy for Vietnam, a regional manufacturing powerhouse, until 2030 before being gradually phased out.
In April, it launched one of its largest coal-fired power plants, the 1.2-gigawatt Thai Binh 2, after more than a decade of construction work.
The increase in energy imports also comes ahead of Vietnam warning this month that the national power system would be stretched this year, with consumption forecast to rise sharply due to anticipated heatwaves.
Water levels at some hydropower dams were lower than normal, prompting the authorities to cut public lighting.
Imports of liquefied petroleum gas in the five-month period rose 29.8% from a year earlier to 914,000 tonnes, the GSO said.
Vietnam exported 1.2 million tonnes of crude oil during the period, up 17.1%, it said.
Vietnam has been exporting part of its output of premium low sulphur Bach Ho crude oil, while buying economical crude for its two refineries.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News