|An EVN worker installs new bulbs for poor households in Mù Cang Chải District, northern Yên Bái Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thế Duyệt
HÀ NỘI — Demand for electricity in the second quarter of this year will increase by 12 per cent at the peak of the dry season, which usually records the highest power consumption of the year, according to the national power company, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).
To meet demand, EVN will use reservoirs to ensure sufficient water to operate hydropower facilities in the lowlands, and will continue tapping coal and gas sources to run coal turbines, including the Vĩnh Tân 2, and Duyên Hải 1 and Duyên Hải 3 thermoelectric plants. If necessary, the group will operate oil turbines to ensure supply.
EVN will also put into operation several key electricity generation projects in the second quarter 2017 to ensure power supply. The first turbine of the Thái Bình thermoelectric plant will be launched in May. The Thác Mơ hydropower plant expansion project has been completed and will begin generating electricity in July.
In addition, EVN will focus on urgent projects to provide electricity for the south and the capital Hà Nội, along with launching construction of the 500kV power line Vũng Áng–Dốc Sỏi–Pleiku 2 in September. Constructions of 26 new power lines was started in the last three months, including four 500-220kV lines and 22 lines of 110kV.
EVN will propose to the Ministry of Industry and Trade that Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) and related units are asked to ensure enough gas for power generation during the dry season. The group will also request the National Power Transmission Corporation to ensure safe operation and continuous transmission, especially the 500kV North-South transmission line.
In the first quarter, the total produced and imported electricity output was 44 billion kWh, up 7.7 per cent year-on-year. The biggest capacity of the whole system reached 27,066 MW, up 10.6 per cent from the same period last year.
Deputy Director General of EVN, Hồ Mạnh Tuấn, said that since the beginning of this year, the corporation had also asked its subsidiaries to develop power supply plans for the dry season.
Work on improving power grids must be completed by May. Staff and equipment must focus on fixing problems to minimise black-out periods and restored power supply as soon as possible, Tuấn said.
The Northern Power Corporation has also made preparations to ensure supply to the country’s 27 northern provinces during the season.
Vice director of EVN Nam Định in northern Nam Định Province, Đỗ Văn Thiện, said the company carried out 20 projects to curb electrical overload, including 50 distributing transformer stations, nearly 62 km of medium-voltage lines and over 70km of low-voltage lines.
Director of EVN Thanh Hóa, Trịnh Xuân Như, said that as the province was calling on domestic and foreign enterprises to invest there, the EVN subsidiary gave priority to power for economic and industrial zones.
Higher power price
Former Trade Minister Trương Đình Tuyển said Monday that power prices should be increased this year after being unchanged for the last two years to curb inflation and stabilise Việt Nam’s economy.
Speaking at a talk on Việt Nam’s macro economy organised by the Việt Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), Tuyển said that if Government keeps power prices cheap, it would be difficult to attract investors to clean energy, the Dân Trí online newspaper reported yesterday.
Cheap power is good for short-term and middle-term development, but in the long-term, enterprises will lose motivation to change technologies and exhaust cheap power sources like hydropower and coal-fired power.
Finance and banking expert Cấn Văn Lực agreed on the need for a power price hike. Last year saw low inflation because the Government succeeded in stablising commodity prices, but during the first quarter of this year, higher transport and healthcare costs resulted in a return of inflation. “It’s time to think about how to harmonise the increased power price with other commodity prices and inflation,” he said. — VNS