Red River Delta Coal Basin

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The Red River Delta Coal Basin has been described by the U.S. Geological Survey as Vietnam's "largest coal deposit".[1] The Basin is reported as covering 2,500 square kilometers and having a reserve of 210 billion tonnes.[2]

In May 2009 Vinacomin announced that it planned to develop the Red River Delta Coal Basin. Vinacom stated that projects in the basin would be developed through "through cooperation and joint ventures with foreign partners". Reuters quoted a state media report which stated that "the project will create the country's biggest clean energy centre, helping ensure national energy security by 2025," it said. It was reported that Vinacomin planned to invest S$5.97 billion to develop 11 projects in the basin.[3]

In 2012 it was reported that the Vietnam government would implement the Red River project from 2012 to 2015.[4]

Project details

The developments in the basin are slated to include the production of coal for power generation, coal gasification and coal to diesel. A news report stated that projects in the basin would produce "8-13 million tonnes of coal and 11 billion cubic meters of gas or 1.745 million barrels of diesel oil per year after mining begins."[2]

As the basin is currently used for rice production, open-cut mining has been reportedly ruled out. "Careful estimates need to be made before mining begins because the coal basin is located below plains where wet rice is cultivated and a large population exists. This is why underground mining and coal gasification will likely be a technology to be chosen for the Red River Delta coal basin mining project to control subsidence and affects on subterranean water supplies," a news report stated.[2]

Nguyen Thanh Son, the director of the Song Hong Energy Company was cited as stating that "to control subsidence, we will choose a place of mining that is less than 200m under ground and mine coal-beds successively.” Sand will be pumped into sunken areas to minimize subsidence."[2]

In 2012 it was reported that the Vietnam government would implement the Red River project from 2012 to 2015. The project aims to determine the "real" reserves of the Red River coal basin. The project will cover over 2,765 sq.km in the six provinces of Thai Binh (1,521 sq.km), Hai Duong (435 sq.km), Hung Yen (398 sq.km), Nam Dinh (272 sq.km), Hai Phong (106 sq.km) and Ha Nam (33 sq.km). The coal beds will be divided into coal mines whose reserves are projected to be continuously mined for 50-100 years, with each coal mine having an annual output of 3 - 10 million tons.[5]

Articles and resources

References

  1. Yolanda Fong-Sam, "The Mineral Industry of Vietnam", U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, June 2011, page 9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Needed: Subsidence & Subterranean Water Supply Effect Control", Viet Nam Business News, January 18, 2010.
  3. "Vietnam plans biggest coal mining project", AsiaOneBusiness.com, May 21, 2009. (This a a Reuters story).
  4. "Vietnam to evaluate real reserves of 210-billion-ton coal basin," Vietnam Net, March 24, 2012.
  5. "Vietnam to evaluate real reserves of 210-billion-ton coal basin," Vietnam Net, March 24, 2012.

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