Formosa seeks to import own coal

Decrying the low-quality of domestic coal, Hung Nghiep Formosa Co., Ltd (Formosa) wants to import coal for electricity production in its coal-fired thermal power plant located in the southern province of Dong Nai’s Nhon Trach 3 industrial park.

According to newswire Tienphong, Formosa submitted a proposal to the General Department of Vietnam Customs to import coal for electricity production in its thermal power plant without any domestic intermediaries. According to the company, domestic coal is not only low-quality but also not suitable with the technology line of the plant.

Previously, the company submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) as well as other relevant authorities. The MPI promised to forward the proposal to the prime minister, while the MoIT supported because of limited domestic coal resources.

On September 2, Dong Nai province’s Nhon Trach Customs Branch guided the company to complete procedures to import coal. However, the company has to go through two major Vietnamese importers, Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited and Dong Bac Coal Corporation, and will only be able to import directly upon receiving the PM’s approval.

However, Formosa said that regulations prescribe co-operation with intermediaries for enterprises lacking experience as well as the coal resources. Formosa, on the other hand, has vast experience in the import sector. Furthermore, the company has its own coal sources with high-quality and suitable prices.

Nguyen Phuc Tho, deputy director of the Dong Nai Customs told VIR that there are no regulations banning private enterprises from importing coal for electricity production.  The General Department of Vietnam Customs is waiting the MoIT to provide guidance on implementing the PM’s directions about Formosa’s proposal. 

According to expert opinion, the rule for enterprises in general and Formosa in particular to import coal by co-operating with domestic coal importers is to control the quality, avoiding the increased environmental pollution that comes with lower-quality coal resources.

In 2001, Formosa rented 200 hectares in Nhon Trach 3 IP to establish an industrial park subdivision. The company built a spinning and textile factory, a coal-fired thermal power plant, and other infrastructural units to attract investment projects.


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