|Workers install a 500kV transformer station in Pleiku City in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. Electricity of Viet Nam said its power supply will be sufficient in the dry season. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
HCM CITY (VNS) — Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) has drawn up a plan to ensure that power supply will meet the anticipated surge in demand during the dry season this year.
EVN plans to complete 351 electricity works of 110 kV to 500 kV with a total power line length of 4,800 kilometres across the nation.
The dry season, which starts from April to June, is usually a peak time for power consumption.
According to a report from EVN, total capacity of the country's power-generating resources this year is expected to reach 38,800 MW.
Of this figure, total capacity of power-generating resources that will be put into operation is 3,500 MW.
Of the 3,500 MW, EVN will operate nine turbines to generate power with total capacity of 2,534 MW, including the turbines 2 and 3 of Lai Chau hydropower plant, turbine 2 of Huoi Quang hydropower plant, turbines 1 and 2 of Trung Son hydropower plant, Song Bung 2 hydropower plant and Duyen Hai 3 thermo power plant.
Viet Nam is facing challenges in power generation this dry season as El Nino has led to reservoirs running out of water in the south and central regions, EVN said.
Reported water levels had dropped at hydropower plants across the central and Central Highlands regions to levels that are 6.49 billion cubic metres lower than normal, forecasting a shortfall of 3.22 billion kWh in electricity, according to Vu Xuan Khu, deputy director of the National Load Dispatch Centre.
A recent report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said drought conditions would continue to affect the central and Central Highlands regions this year due to the El Nino weather phenomenon.
Given the effect of the El Nino this year, the flow of water to lakes and reservoirs in the central and the Central Highlands region will decline sharply, the report said.
Khu said power plants would have to use more petrol to generate 2.5 billion kWh of electricity to ensure power supply for economic activities.
Deputy director of EVN, Ngo Son Hai, said that the group would try to ensure stable power supply to the regions.
"We have made four plans to deal with different situations brought by the El Nino this year, including adjusting the flow of water from the reservoirs to ensure the balance of water resources by the end of the dry season," Hai said.
EVN said the country's electricity generation capacity by the end of 2015 totalled 38,800 MW, and that the industry could meet the annual electricity demand growth of 11-12 per cent in the 2016-2020 period.
EVN will spend more than VND600 trillion (US$26.6 billion) on new power generation and transmission line projects over the next five years.
There are currently 81 operational hydropower plants of more than 30 MW in Viet Nam with a total designed capacity of 15,570 MW.
Energy experts said the country should invest more in renewable energy projects and strengthen energy cooperation with other Asian countries to meet annual demand growth of 10 per cent towards 2030.
The El Nino phenomenon began in late 2014 and is forecast to continue into 2016, thus affecting hydropower plants, which make up a large proportion of the nation's power output. — VNS