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EVN mulls blackouts for July

Update: June, 27/2007 - 00:00

EVN mulls blackouts for July

(28-06-2007)

Workers install 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.

A turbine at the Sesan 3A

A turbine 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

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