mulls blackouts for July
equipment to provide electricity to the northern industrial zones. —
VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
HA NOI — Viet Nam’s
State-run electricity provider is considering rolling blackouts next month when
it is scheduled to shut down a major oil field for maintenance, company
officials announced this week.
Electricity of Viet Nam
could cut off power to homes for one to two hours a day during periods of high
demand, said Ngo Son Hai, deputy director of the company’s National
Electricity Dispatching Centre. The company used rolling blackouts in May to
contend with another shortage. The latest conservation efforts could stretch
into September, Hai said.
The power company is
scheduled to close down the Nam Con Son oil field in three stages; from July 1
to 6, August 29 to September 16 and finally September 20 to 30. The maintenance
was planned one year ago.
The field provides fuel
for generators at the Phu My power complex, which produces 4,000 MW, one-third
of the country’s total production. Electricity of Viet Nam is expecting a
shortfall of almost 1,000MW.
turbine at the Sesan 3A
at the Sesan 3A hydro-electric plant in the Central Highland province of
Gia Lai was brought back into operation late Tuesday after it broke down
shortly after coming online.
The turbine, the plant’s second, sprang an oil leak after being fired
up Saturday, according to company officials.
Meanwhile, the first turbine at Sesan A exploded Thursday, seven months
after coming online. Officials blamed the blast, which left the turbine
damaged but not destroyed, on a faulty Chinese part. Repair work will
likely take 20 days, the factory announced.
The plant, whose two turbines have a combined capacity of 108 MW and are
equipped entirely with Chinese parts, is one of the five biggest
hydro-electric plants in the Se San River system. The plant cost VND1,8
trillion (US$116.5 million) to build. It was financed by Song Da
Construction Corporation (51 per cent), EVN (30 per cent) and the Binh
Minh Import-Export Joint Stock Co — VNS
Thermo-electric plants in
the north, including those in Pha Lai and Uong Bi, would also be closed for
maintenance, adding to the shortage, Hai said. The hot July temperatures also
cause hydro-electric reservoirs to evaporate.
Electricity of Viet Nam
planned to increase the amount of power it buys from China, adjust its
maintenance schedule and maximising output at other plants, Hai said.
The company was guarding
against shortages at hospitals, schools, military bases and other public
security institutions, he said.
The announcement of
blackouts was met with disapproval by homeowners and agencies like the Vietnam
Electrical Industry Association, which criticised the timing of the maintenance
at Nam Con Son. The work comes as water levels are at their lowest and as
thousands of students take university entrance exams. — VNS