Northern region faces risk of severe power shortage

June 09, 2023 - 08:35
There is a risk of power shortage at “most hours of the day”, according to the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Việt Nam.
Residents in Ngọc Bài Village, Chương Mỹ District have to go outdoors after power was cut. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — The power shortfall in the northern region of Việt Nam will touch about 4,350MW with an average of 30.9 million kWh a day, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The accumulative capacity of the northern power system reaches only 17,500MW-17,900MW, including 2,500MW-2,700MW from the southern and central regions, as compared with the whole northern region’s demand of 23,500MW-24,000MW, according to Trần Việt Hòa, head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Việt Nam under the ministry.

There is a risk of power shortage at “most hours of the day”, he said, noting that many countries, including India, Bangladesh, and even China, are also facing rotating power cuts.

Hòa also expressed his concern about the transmission from the central to the northern region, which is now at a very high level that can lead to risks of overcapacity.

Regarding households and businesses’ complaints about constant power cuts, Hòa said in recent days, the power cuts are to ensure the safety of the power system.

Notably, most of the major hydroelectric reservoirs in the North, including Lai Châu, Sơn La, Tuyên Quang, Bản Chát, Hủa Na and Thác Bà reached the “dead water level” or even below that.

Only the Hòa Bình reservoir can ensure its plant's operation until June 12-13, he said, adding that once its water level hits the “dead point”, a total of 5,000MW or even up to 7,000MW would be lost in the region.

As of June 6, the combined capacity of the hydroelectric plants stood at 3,110MW, only 23.7 per cent of their designed capacity.

Thanks to efforts in supplying coal for thermal power plants, turbines have been running at full capacity, which, however, has caused equipment incidents.

Therefore, the northern thermal power plants generated only 11,934MW, making up 76.6 per cent of their designed capacity, as of June 6, Hòa noted.

Ngô Sơn Hải, deputy general director of the Vietnam Electricity (EVN), said the Northern Power Corporation and the Hanoi Power Corporation will allocate electricity to each city and province based on guidelines of the MoIT, and the localities will outline plans and identify priorities in power supply.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính recently issued a dispatch, urging drastic measures to ensure electricity supply in this dry season and the future.

Under the dispatch, the MoIT was asked to promptly finalise a PM’s directive on strengthening power saving in the 2023-25 period and following years and submit it to the PM by June 8. The ministry was also ordered to complete a PM’s decree on ensuring power supply and the supply of coal and gas for electricity production and submit it to him by June 15.

Particularly, the EVN was asked to focus on building scenarios to respond to difficulties in power supply and rolling out effective power-saving measures, especially in June.

The PM also assigned the MoIT to form an inspection team to examine the power supply management at the EVN from January 2021 to June 1, 2023.

Recently households and businesses in many areas, including Bắc Ninh and Hà Nội, suffered blackouts. — VNS