Vietnam seeks to increase coal import from South Africa

A trade forum has been held online for Vietnamese and South African coal businesses to seek stronger coal trading cooperation between the two sides to meet coal demand for production and electricity generation in Vietnam.

Addressing the event, Le Hoang Oanh, head of the Asian Market under the Ministry of Industry and Trade noted that Vietnam’s demand for coal is increasing for electricity generation and industrial production. The country would need about 46.5 million tonnes of coal in 2025 and 123.7 million tonnes in 2045, she noted.

South Africa has long been a coal supply source of Vietnam. Vietnam was one of the five largest coal importers of South Africa in 2029 and 2020.

Statistics from the UN Comtrade showed that Vietnam imported about 126,000 tonnes of coal, worth US$7.6 million from South Africa in 2019, 2.6 million tonnes worth US$123.4 million in 2020 and about 7.5 million tonnes worth US$360 million in 2021.

South Africa, one of the five largest coal exporters in the world, owns a big reserve of about 50 billion tonnes of coal.

Oanh said the MoIT hopes to set up a long-term and stable partnership with South Africa in coal trading, mining and processing.

Hector Mphohoni from the South African Embassy in Vietnam said that he hopes the forum will help balance trade between the two countries.

Chief Executive Officer at Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Durban province Palesa Phili said South African firms are interested in cooperating with Vietnamese partners. She pledged to work to connect Vietnamese firms with their South African peers.

During the forum, leading Vietnamese coal importers, including the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and Dong Bac Corporation as well as six South African coal exporters - An Nam Trading, The Commodities Inc, GC Consulting, Best Ever Trading, Picogenix and Standard Bank discussed each other's demands and supply capacity and sought partnership opportunities. They said they will continue to discuss detail cooperation plans.

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