Thursday, November 15 2018

VietNamNews

South faces electricity shortages

Update: July, 11/2018 - 09:16
Staff check a transformer station in Long An Province. Southern provinces could face power shortages in the coming years because the construction of many power plants is behind schedule. — VNA/VNS Photo Phúc Sơn
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — The country’s southern region is expected to face a shortage of electricity for the next three years as the construction of power plant projects is one to four years behind schedule, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

In the 2016-20 period, total installed generation capacity in the region provided a total capacity of 15,500 MW of electricity, missing the target of 30 per cent in energy demand.

The MoIT said that if construction of one coal-fired power plant of annual capacity of 1,200 MW remains behind schedule, the southern area could face the electricity shortage of 7.2-7.5 billion kWh each year.

Most power plant projects in the south under construction are implemented by Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN), Việt Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam or PVN), and Việt Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin or TKV).

Some projects are implemented under the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) form, while there are independent power producer (IPP) projects as well.

Construction of 27 power projects are behind schedule.

The delays are blamed on time-consuming contract negotiations or capital shortage.

Among the 15 power projects invested by EVN, construction of four power projects is one to two years behind schedule.

Đinh Quang Tri, EVN’s deputy general director, said the slow process of getting approval from ministries, departments and agencies was among the reasons for the slow progress of the projects.

Construction of PVN’s eight thermal power plants with a total designed capacity of 1,200 MW each is making slow progress.

Meanwhile, TKV’s four power projects are also more than two years behind schedule.

Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, general director of TKV, said the group was deploying three coal-fired power projects, while the other had not been approved for an investment location.

"The group differs in negotiating the price framework of electricity," he said.

According to the MoIT, most power plants usually require huge investments, while they also have to face problems in land clearance and selection of the form of investment.

EVN and the Việt Nam Institute of Energy said that electricity cuts could become a major issue in the southern provinces in the future.

It estimated power cuts will occur for 373 hours in 2020, 293 hours in 2021 and 593 hours in 2022.

Nguyễn Ngọc Hưng of the MoIT’s Việt Nam Institute of Energy, said demand for electricity was set to increase by 10 per cent per year, so the southern provinces could face a high risk of power shortages in coming years.

If more solar and wind power projects open, the power shortfall could be offset, he said.

MoIT and the Việt Nam Institute of Energy should consider choosing an effective solution to deal with the region’s power shortages, he added. — VNS

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