U.S. Seeks to Help Vietnam Fully Tap Coal-fired Power Sources: Official

As Vietnam will likely stay dependent on coal-fired power, the U.S. wants to share its experience with the Southeast Asian country in tapping such power source by raising efficiency and lowering emission, said Acting Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury Mitchell Silk. Mr. Silk made the statement at a meeting in Hanoi with Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha on February 6. The meeting is the follow up session of the signing of Cooperation Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance between Vietnam and the U.S. in November 2019. In the next ten to 15 years, coal-fired power is expected to continue being the biggest power source of Vietnam, the U.S. official said. However, the country has yet to fully exploit the power source due to the outdated technology used at power plants, which also emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, Mr. Silk added. The U.S.’s technology and coal will be able to help Vietnam lower production costs and enhance environmental protection, he said, adding that they will also help balance the trade deficit of the U.S. to Vietnam. Furthermore, the U.S. official proposed cooperation in many other energy fields, namely renewable energy, hydropower, power grid management, power transmission, and energy efficiency. Many U.S. companies have shown great interest in taking part in the energy sector of Vietnam via public-private partnership (PPP) investment format, Mr. Silk said. The format will help mobilize more capital from the private sector. The signed PPP contracts between the two sides in the sector are expected to boost the management, lower fuel input, operation, and maintenance costs. For his part, Mr. Ha appreciated the information and affirmed such fields are also on Vietnam’s development agenda. The ministry pledged to carry out the signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries. (Tap Chi Tai Chinh, Tap Chi Tai Chinh, mof)