HA NOI — Preparatory work on the formation of a competitive power-generation market will be completed by the end of this week when the plan will be announced, said Pham Le Thanh, general director of Viet Nam Electricity Group (EVN).
|Song Mien Hydro-electric Plant in northern mountainous Ha Giang Province's Quan Ba District. Twenty-nine power plants will participate in the competitive power generation market planned to be launched at the beginning of next month. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
Legal documents have been approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), while the necessary IT infrastructure has been installed and staff trained to operate the new system, Thanh said.
Thanh urged the National Power Load Dispatch Centre to complete plans for purchasing power and exploiting energy from electricity-generating plants that are not taking part in the coming competitive-market plan.
Twenty-nine power enterprises, with a total capacity of about 9,000MW, will directly join the competitive market from July 1, when they will forward their asking prices to the Electric Power Trading Company (EPTC).
Among 29 power suppliers, 13 are hydro-electric, 11 coal thermal and 5 gas-turbine.
In addition, 26 other power plants will indirectly take part in the market. Supplies from these plants will either be overseen by the centre for regulating the national electricity system or their asking prices will be set by EPTC. Eighteen other plants will indirectly join the market for a set period of time.
In addition, 20 power plants (19 hydro-electric and one thermal) with a designed capacity of 4,567MW are scheduled to join the market when they commercialise their products.
A representative from MoIT said the legal regulations and experience of operators had steadily improved over the last few months.
Most power-generating enterprises have now been trained and familiarised with the new market regulations, the representative said.
During the trial period mistakes in price offerings would still be sent by power enterprises, Dang Huy Cuong, head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam, told Kinh Te Do Thi (Economics and City) newspaper.
"On average, there are about seven to eight price-offering mistakes a month," he said.
"Common mistakes include unreasonable prices and errors in the stated capacities of turbines – particularly turbines on trial, and those that are inoperational or being repaired," he said.
Viet Nam's electricity market is scheduled to develop in three stages – a competitive power generating market (completed by 2014), a competitive wholesale market (2014-20) and a competitive retail market (after 2020).
However, there are concerns EVN will not be able to maintain present retail prices if suppliers sell at higher prices.
Some even doubt the feasibility of the competitive market when hundreds of power suppliers can only sell to one wholesaler – EVN. Meanwhile, tens of millions of customers will be able to buy electricity from only one retailer, again EVN.
While, the MoIT is encouraging more power-generation corporations to be set up, they will still be under EVN's management, leading some experts to conclude that this will still be a monopoly but in another form. — VNS