Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - The domestic coal sector is going through a tough time owing to serious competition from cheap imported coal, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has said.

This had significantly affected the sector’s production and business, the ministry said, adding that companies were trying hard to maintain production, retain employees and maintain labourers’ incomes.

To reduce the gap between production costs and selling prices, the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Group (Vinacomin) promulgated Decision No 3005/QĐ-TKV on December 23, 2016, increasing the selling price of domestic coal by 3 percent to 10.7 percent, depending on the kind of coal. However, no units have signed coal purchasing contracts with Vinacomin so far this year.

Last month, the production of clean coal was estimated at 3.2 million tonnes, a 16.4 percent year-on-year increase. In the first two months of 2017, coal production touched 5.9 million tonnes, which is a 6.3 percent drop compared to the same period last year.

The MoIT said the sector should focus on maximising coal and minerals production and use, especially of those products that have high demand, such as coal lump and high-quality coal dust, and ensure that there is sufficient coal for electricity production.

The MoIT has also asked the coal sector to manufacture more mining equipment and improve co-operation with foreign countries so as to get access to better technologies.-VNA