Friday, October 21 2016


Consumers set for squeeze as power costs skyrocket

Update: April, 23/2016 - 09:53
According to EVN’s figures, in the first quarter of 2016, the national grid’s additional charges were estimated to rise by 13 per cent compared with the same period last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

Viet Nam News -HCM CITY — The use of many power supply sources, including high-priced sources, has caused Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN)’s costs to soar, leading to the possibility of future power hikes.

However, power supply has been maintained this year, with only occasional shortages in some locations, EVN has said.

While EVN said the northern region could ensure water supply for power generation, the Central Highlands and central and southern regions have been facing a serious drought.

The total amount of water reaching reservoirs in the central and southern regions has reached 3.29 billion cubic metres, 1.84 billion cubic metres lower than expected.

Water flows to these reservoirs have been lower than the average flows of previous years.

A number of hydropower plants have had to generate power intermittently, and 12 have suspended commercial operation, only generating power for farming.

Đinh Thế Phúc, deputy head of the Minister of Trade and Industry’s Power Regulation Department, said that, because the southern region could not meet all its power demand, EVN had to take power supply from the central region to the South and at the same time operate a diesel-fueled turbine system.

The output of diesel-fueled engines this year has been even higher than the total yield of the same system in 2014.

In addition, EVN has bought the output of gas- and coal-fueled power stations to make up for losses of electricity from hydropower plants caused by water shortages.

EVN also continues to purchase power from China to meet demand.

Possible power cuts     

Despite forecasts of serious power shortages, EVN should ensure a sufficient supply of power in the coming months, Phúc said.

According to an EVN spokesman, reservoirs in the central, Central Highlands and southern regions have been regulated and exploited economically to supply water to the lower section.

To prevent temporary power shortages, EVN has ordered its subsidiaries to economically operate power supply sources, to fully mobilise power supply sources fueled with coal, gas and oil, and to safely operate power transmission that links regions in the country.

These efforts will help EVN meet additional power demand in the second quarter.

Vũ Xuân Khu, deputy director of the National Grid’s Regulation Centre, said the national power supply in the first quarter had a total output of 38,642 MW and “additional charges” of 25,000 MW.

According to EVN’s figures, in the first quarter of 2016, the national grid’s additional charges were estimated to rise by 13 per cent compared with the same period last year.

In April, the system’s additional charges could reach 505 million kWh per day, and up to 540 million kWh per day in May and June.

Nguyễn Danh Duyên, deputy general director of EVN Hà Nội, said there would be no alternate power cuts due to power shortages.

Periodic maintenance and repair works could be the reason behind power cuts occurring at several sites in Hà Nội.

If the system is overloaded, the city could face power shortages, leading to a possible breakdown.

The mobilisation of all power supply sources, including high-priced sources, has caused concerns about sharp increases in the costs of electricity, according to EVN Hà Nội.

The Government has approved a project to adjust plans for the development of the national power network, including a plan to sell electricity at various prices, depending on the seasons and regions that serve customers.

In the rainy season, water levels in reservoirs are higher, allowing more hydropower stations to generate power and electricity bills to remain lower.

But in the dry season, EVN has to operate oil, coal and gas-fueled generators, which could ultimately lead to a possible hike in power prices ordered by the state.

EVN also said the sharp increase in power demand in summer would lead to higher electricity bills, especially from this month.

As such, EVN has asked individual and corporate customers to use power economically and effectively in the summer. — VNS 

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