HANOI : Against a backdrop of global calls to phase out fossil fuels to help reduce global greenhouse emissions, Vietnam wants to boost domestic coal production as it grows more reliant on imports.
The South East Asian country turned from a net coal exporter to an importer in the mid-2020s, and has been importing more of the fuel to feed its growing fleet of coal-fired power plants.
"The coal industry needs to expand its production by focusing its investment in new mines and upgrading existing ones to meet the economy's demand for coal," Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh said in a statement on Monday.
Vietnam may double the amount of coal-fired electric generation it installs by 2030 under a draft plan submitted to the prime minister for approval earlier this month.
Vietnam's coal imports rose by a quarter last year to 54.8 million tonnes, while its domestic coal output rose 5.1per cent to 48.6 million tonnes, government data shows.
During his visit to the country's largest coal miner, Vinacomin, over the weekend, Thanh said the company, along with relevant authorities, need to "work out measures to produce enough coal for electricity generation".
(Editing by Alexander Smith)