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Will super clean coal power be used in Vietnam?

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Foreign experts believe that developing thermal power with clean coal technology is a reasonable policy for Asian countries, including Vietnam. 

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Coal-fired thermal power will still be the major source of power 

 

Despite protests from people in the localities where investors plan to set up coal-fired power plants, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) affirmed that coal-fired thermal power, with low input fuel costs and high capacity, will still be the major source of power for Vietnam in the immediate time.

In developed countries including the US, Japan and EU, coal-fired electricity output accounted for 60 percent of total electricity output in the late 20th century and early 21st century. 

The proportion has decreased significantly, but coal-fired thermal power plants still provide 35-40 percent of total electricity output now.

However, the problem is that coal-fired power plants causes environmental problems. Therefore, experts say, if the problem can be settled with clean coal technology, coal-fired thermal power will be an ideal choice.

The government of Vietnam is paying more attention to developing renewable energy. However, as chair of the Vietnam Energy Association Tran Viet Ngai commented, in order to obtain the 10 percent electricity output growth rate and ensure the nation’s energy security, developing coal-fired thermal power is a necessity.

If Vietnam refuses coal-fired thermal power, it will face a electricity shortage in upcoming years, when hydropower potential is fully exploited and renewable energy requires high investment rates.

“So, the solution for Vietnam is developing thermal power plants with clean, environmentally-friendly coal technology,” Ngai said.

A lot of coal-fired plants in Vietnam, especially ones developed by EVN, are using advanced technologies which are in no way inferior to modern plants in the world. 

These include plants using supercritical (SC) technology and technology to reduce carbonic emissions, namely Vinh Tan 4, expanded Vinh Tan 4 and expanded Duyen Hai 3.

Meanwhile, the coal-fired plans from many years ago have been upgraded with emission treatment systems and modern equipment to reduce the impact on the environment.

Experts from the Japan Coal Energy Center (JCOAL) also said at a conference on coal-fired thermal power development in March that the technology EVN is using for its power plants are good but the current SC technology may be replaced by ultra SC which allows coal-fired plants to operate more effectively.

Sacha Parneix from GE’s Steam Power also said Asian countries, including Vietnam, can develop thermal power with super clean coal technology.

However, many people still oppose the use.

Most recently, the Long An provincial people’s committee asked MOIT to replace a coal-fired power project with a plant using LPG to mitigate the impact on the environment.

 

Source: VNN

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