Drought Could Cause Power Shortages

Feb 5 Ha Noi (VNS) – Vietnam may face a power shortage during the dry season due to serious droughts that have hit the country’s central and southern regions since late last year.

Speaking at a recent meeting about power supply between January and June, deputy general director of Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Dang Hoang Giang said that since late last year, there had not been enough rain to fill reservoirs at hydropower plants.

Shortages would be more severe in southern provinces because no new power sources had been added to the national grid, he said.

EVN was also concerned about the shortage of gas to generate power between July and September.

EVN said it would need to mobilise 1.8-2.4 billion kWh of diesel-fuelled power which would drive up production costs, he said.

He explained that on average, 1kWh generated using hydropower cost VND1,437, but 1Kwh generated by diesel cost VND4,500 – 4,800, so billions of dong would be added to production costs.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that this year, total power production and imports would be over 133,4 billion kWh, 11 per cent higher than last year.

Of the total expected power supply, hydropower would account for about 40 per cent, thermal gas 33 per cent, and coal 22 per cent.

This year, EVN planned to import nearly 3.7 billion kWh from China, one billion kWh more than last year.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, drought and water shortages in central and Central Highland regions were expected to be very serious this dry season. Water levels in Thanh Hoa and Nghe An’s rivers were expected to be 15-30 per cent lower than that in previous years, and Central Highland rivers were forecast to fall 10-15 per cent.

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