City struggles to supply adequate power

Le Thanh Hai, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee has asked the HCMC Electricity Corporation (EVN HCMC) to take measures to save power and ensure adequate supply for both production and daily consumption during the dry season.

Electricians check a power grid in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: SGGP)

He made the statement at a meeting with the company and the city People’s Committee on March 9 to find solutions to maintain a steady power supply despite a shortage.
 
Addressing the meeting he said EVN HCMC has to resort to any measures to supply sufficient power for production, services and tourist activities as well as for residential use in the city.
 
He added that for the time being, administrative companies have to practice power thrift to save 10 percent of their consumption power and all measures to encourage saving on power have to be strengthened.
 
Le Van Phuoc, EVN HCMC general director, suggested a reduction of 50 percent of lighting used for advertising, 10 percent of consumption power used by administrative companies and another 10 percent by households.
 
He said that people who have diesel power generators must be encouraged to use them daily during peak hours. On the other hand, manufacturing companies should change their operating hours by not working on peak hours or by switching production to weekends instead of week days.
 
He said that if electricity users can save 10 percent of consumption power, the city would have enough power and not have to face power cuts.
 
According to him, the city needs an estimated 48.4 million kWh per day in March, while the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) has allocated the city only 46.9 million kWh.
 
The shortfall of 1.5 million kWh per day or 3.1 percent of consumption must be covered by conserving power, he added.
 
The shortage is predicted to rise to 2 million kWh per day in April and May and drop to 350,000 kWh per day by June.
 
He said EVN HCMC has prepared plans to regulate and distribute power in case the city faces power shortage of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 percent. 
 
Under the plan, the company will give priority to important state organizations, hospitals and traffic lights. Manufacturing companies and residents will be informed of transparent and fair power cuts in advance, he added.
 
He said customers will not suffer power cuts more than twice a day or four times a week in the event of a severe power shortage.
 
EVN has warned that the country might face severe shortage of power during the dry season because the volume of water in hydroelectric reservoirs has decreased by 12 billion cubic meters which can generate about 3 billion kWh of power.
 
In addition, many thermoelectric machines have ceased operating due to technical breakdowns resulting in further reduction of power.
 
EVN has calculated that its system will supply 294.8 million kWh of power per day in March, the largest capacity being 15,500-16,100 MW. Such output will cause an imbalance in the national power system.

There was a shortfall of 1 billion kWh last year and it is predicted to rise to 3 billion-4 billion kWh this year.

By Lac Phong, Luong Thien – Translated by Hoang Yen

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