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Hydropower shortage looms amid drought

Update: March, 25/2013 - 08:54
Worker install a 220kV Di Linh-Bao Loc electrical grid in Central Highland province of Lam Dong. Prolonged drought has put the Central Highland and southern regions at a high risk of power shortage. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
HA NOI (VNS)— Power shortages may occur over the next three months due to low water levels in hydro-electric reservoirs, according to Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN).

An EVN report showed the volume of water in northern reservoirs mostly reached 50 per cent of their capacity. Central and Central Highland reservoirs are much lower than last year.

Those in Dai Ninh, Dong Nai 3 and Ham Thuan in the south are at 73 – 98 per cent capacity.

This situation has resulted from prolonged drought, especially in the Central Highlands.

Head of the Hydro-meteorological Forecast Station for the Central Highlands region Pham Vu Tuan said the drought was expected to last until May.

"Although there were unseasonable rains early this year, they had little effect," he said.

Not only long-lasting drought but also other factors including fluctuating prices of coal and petroleum contributed to low electricity output.

According to EVN, the electricity consumption this month reached 355 million kWH per day.

The EVN representative said this was just the beginning of the dry season. When the hot weather covers the northern region earlier than normal, with temperatures forecast to hit up to 36 degrees Celsius, the electricity consumption will be much higher.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked relevant agencies to mobilise more sources to ensure electricity supplies.

EVN is expected to utilize more sources run by petroleum and import electricity from other countries.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked electricity plants to track the weather developments to effectively regulate reservoirs.

Relevant authorities are also taking measures to save electricity. Last Saturday, Viet Nam took part in Earth Hour and saved 401,000kwH worth VND576 million (US$27,400).

Nguyen Van Suu, deputy chairman of HA Noi's People's Committee, said that people should remember to turn off unused electrical devices and save water sources. — VNS


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