Vietnam to import LNG to meet burgeoning electricity demand hinh anh 1Phung Van Sy, general manager of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s oil and gas division, speaks about Vietnam’s current and future energy demand trends at the International LNG/Energy Summit held in HCM City on November 12 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will continue to be strong, outpacing domestic production by 2020 requiring the country to import around one million cubic metres a year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

According to Phung Van Sy, general manager of the ministry’s oil and gas division, who spoke at the International LNG/Energy Summit held in HCM City on November 12,  Vietnam’s natural gas supply is currently 9-10 billion cubic metres a year.

Since 2015 consumption has been around 10 billion cubic metres, 83 percent by the power sector, 11 percent by the fertiliser sector and 6 percent by other industrial sectors.

From 2021 to 2035, the market is expected to grow significantly, reaching 31 billion cubic metres a year.

The Government has created a legal framework for the development of the LNG industry, and identified priority projects based on demand and investment promotion.

“The Ministry of Industry and Trade has considered importing LNG from the US to narrow the trade deficit.

“However, the purchase of gas from the US will be based on the spirit of cooperation. If the US’s gas prices are competitive, then Vietnam will import LNG from the US.”

Marie Damour, the US consul general in HCM City, said Vietnam's Power Development Plan (PDP-8) presented an opportunity for energy companies to invest in the country.

Due to Vietnam's rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, the Government expected electricity consumption to grow by 10-12 percent annually through 2020, she said.

To meet this increasing energy consumption, the country had begun the movement towards LNG, a natural solution to address the country's quickly rising energy demands, she said.

“Within this sector are American companies that are well known as world leaders for advanced technologies, quality, and experience.

“As Vietnam moves closer to utilising LNG as part of its energy portfolio, US companies can help support an energy landscape that is investment rich and energy secure, something in the interest of both Vietnam and the US.”

Joe Knierien, executive director of Globalinx Group, the event’s organiser, said US companies were greatly interested in selling and distributing LNG to Vietnam because they saw great demand in the market.

“So we would like to have closer collaboration with Vietnamese companies to assist in the development of the energy sector and energy security.

“We are very interested in investment in developing energy projects here in Vietnam.”

He said his company brought its partners Fluor, Braemar and Emerson, all top LNG companies to Vietnam to evaluate the opportunities available.

Sy said: “Currently the gas market and gas prices in Vietnam are controlled and regulated by the Government through various decisions depending on the wellhead gas price.

“By 2025 the Government is trying to open part of the gas market, and after 2025 Vietnam will try to fully open its gas market.”

Fluor, Braemar and Emerson executives introduced their companies and the solutions and services they provide./.