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Vietnam: no more backup electricity and a risk of power shortage

According to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the number of hydroelectric reservoirs with dead or approximately dead water levels continues to increase, and the whole country is at risk of power shortage.


17 hydroelectric reservoirs have returned or are close to dead water level

By May 21st 2023, the number of hydroelectric reservoirs that had reached dead water level or approximately dead water level continued to increase compared to May 11. In the North, 12/12 large hydropower reservoirs have very poor water flow to the lake. Also, 17/47 large hydropower reservoirs have water level that has reached dead water level or near dead water level, and the frequency of water returning to many lakes is the lowest in many years.


In April and May 2023, the water to hydropower reservoirs is only below 50% of the annual average, and some lakes only reach 20% of the average, hence, there is a serious shortage of water sources for hydropower reservoirs continue to have their capacity reduced due to low water levels.


According to EVN, on May 19, the load of the whole national power system increased to a new record, approximately 924 million kWh/day, the highest since the beginning of the year and up 10.5% over the same period in May 2022. The maximum consumption capacity reached 44,600 MW, which is the highest since the beginning of the year and increased by 8.5% over the same period in May 2022.


lack of electricity vietnam
photo: Hanoimoi

Vietnam buys electricity from China

According to calculations by the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the North of Vietnam is at risk of a shortage of 1,600-4,900 MW of electricity in the coming May and June. Accordingly, from May to July, 2023, the entire Mong Cai city and Hai Ha district, Quang Ninh province, will use electricity provided by Guangxi Grid Company. It is expected that on May 24, electricity will be switched on from Tham Cau (China) to Vietnam, but currently, the output as well as the selling price of electricity has not been announced.


This is not the first time Vietnam has purchased electricity from China. In the period 2005-2016, the Northern Power Corporation also had to buy electricity from China via the 110kV Tham Cau-Mong Cai line.


Electricity price stabilisation

EVN is currently at a loss despite raising electricity prices by 3%, with a total loss of more than 100,000 billion VND (~$4.3 billions) in the last 3 years, equal to 49% of the group's charter capital. Also, EVN owes nearly 20,000 billion VND (~$850 millions) for electricity purchase due to the inability to pay. This threatens the company's finances, as there is not enough financial sources to maintain machinery and production capacity, and it is difficult for EVN to borrow money from banks to pay back customers and make new investments.


In 2024, if the electricity price does not increase, the loss will reach 112,000 - 114,000 billion VND (~$5 billion), accounting for 54-70% of EVN's equity, and if the electricity price increases by 3%, the loss will be 94,000 - 126,000 billion VND (~$5.3 billions). With such a loss of about 46-60% of the total equity, EVN cannot become a strong and sustainable corporation as required by the Government.


Experts suggest to add the principle of price management and regulation to the draft revised Price Law, in which, the State must have public financial resources and appropriate reserves of goods when regulating prices, such that EVN, one of the most important state-owned enterprises in the electricity sector, is not going to be nearing bankruptcy by 2024.


lack of electricity vietnam
source: Vn Economy

Saving campaigns across the country

Da Nang, one of the major countries in Vietnam, requires that 100% of decorative lighting and advertising lighting be turned off after 8pm to save electricity. Restaurants, hotels, commercial service establishments, office complexes and apartment buildings will reduce 50% of their outdoor decorative advertising lighting capacity at the peak of the evening from 8pm daily.


Under the direction of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, for traffic lighting systems, the City People's Committee requires adjusting the time to turn on the lights 30 minutes later and turn off the lights 30 minutes earlier than the current plan, and reducing 50% of lighting system capacity from 10pm at roads with low traffic volume. For advertising and decorative lighting systems, the City People's Committee requests people in charge to turn off or reduce 50% of the advertising lighting system's capacity from 10pm, and turn off all decorative lighting from 10pm.


In the coming time, it is forecasted that severe heat will continue, in order to ensure safe and continuous power supply, EVN Hanoi recommends that customers should use electricity economically, especially during peak hours at noon and in the evening. noon from 11:30 to 15:30, evening from 20:30 to 23:30). In 2023, Hanoi aims to save 1.7-2.2% of the total energy consumed in the area. Additionally, 65% of key load enterprises have committed to reduce use according to the chart developed by the electricity industry, 75% of enterprises and industrial parks are propagated to increase the use of new technologies to reduce electricity consumption, and 55 facilities are using green energy.


Source: the Internet


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