Power Trader Accused Of Abusing Monopoly Position

By Vietnamnet, August 12th, 2013

A private hydropower company in the north has filed a petition accusing Electric Power Trading Company (EPTC) of abusing its position as the only power buyer in the competitive power market.

In the petition sent to Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the private power firm accuses EPTC of violating the Competition Law as it buys power from only companies under Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) and turns down the offers of private firms.

The independent power producer stresses EPTC is abusing its monopoly power to bring benefits to the power generators under EVN and eliminate small private producers from the competitive power market.

VCA has requested the accuser and the accused to give explanations on the related issues within one month from the date of the petition receipt. Then, the authority will officially decide whether to launch an investigation or not.

The competitive power market officially kicked off on July 1, 2012, with 37 participants directly offering their electricity for sale. Multi-purpose hydropower plants and BOT plants do not participate in this market.

Dinh The Phuc, deputy director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam, said: “Market participants directly put in their offers every hour, with prices publicly disclosed on the websites of the National Load Dispatch Center so that anyone can follow.”

EPTC has the discretion over which company it will buy power from. Power producers often make offers during peak hours when they can quote higher prices.

During the rainy season, small hydropower plants race to offer their electricity, leading to grid overload and instability. For this reason, the National Load Dispatch Center still has to source electricity from those quoting high prices.

The private hydropower company mentioned above is seeking to join forces with another private firm facing the same situation. If VCA rejects its petition, the company could send another petition to the trade ministry and bring the case to court under the provisions of the Competition Law.

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