Vietnam’s ministry of trade and industry says the country will import its first LNG from 2023 to feed power plants in the south of the country, part of a double-pronged strategy to import more oil and coal to meet growing electricity demand.
From next year, Vietnam will ramp up its coal imports to power its thermo-electric plants as the country exhausts its older gasfields. It will also start to import LNG to support its energy mix.
This summer, Japanese utility Tokyo Gas formed LNG Vietnam, a joint venture between Tokyo Gas Asia, Hanoi-based construction firm the Bitexco Group and PetroVietnam Gas. Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, the US$4.4 billion company will procure and sell LNG and to build and operate LNG-import terminals.
PetroVietnam Gas is building two LNG-import terminals in southern Vietnam. Thi Vai LNG terminal will import up to 1.4 million tonnes a year (mta) and Son My LNG will have start-up capacity for 6 mta. Potential gas suppliers include Shell and Gazprom of Russia, as well as Iran following recent trade talks between Tehran and Ho Chi Minh City.
According to Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), Vietnam will import between 6.6 million tonnes a year (mta) and 8.3 mta, come 2030.