The demand for power is predicted to far exceed supply in 2008’s dry season as hydroelectric plants cannot run at full capacity due water shortages, said an official during a recent interview with Sai Gon Giai Phong.
|The hydroelectric dam Son La in Northern Viet Nam|
Mr. Pham Ngoc Minh, Deputy Director of HCMC Electricity Company's Information Regulatory Center: If the Central Hydrometeorology Center’s forecast about a long dry season is accurate, we’ll certainly have to face power shortages. The demand for power usually increases by 20 percent in the dry season and there will be no exception this year.
The Hoa Binh Hydroelectricity Plant will, however, not be able to fulfill demand as the water in its dam is running out. The situation is worsened by the fact that a number of power plants supposed to start generating power this year still can’t start operating due to technical problems.
SGGP: So, will city dwellers face frequent power cuts?
Mr. Pham Ngoc Minh: Many are reckoning frequent city power cuts will happen. I, myself, think they won’t affect the city much as the HCMC EC has proposed that Vietnam Electricity Corporation (EVN) give the city top priority in its supply lists.
But to ensure the integrity and safety of the system’s operation, EVN will have little choice but to cut down the power supply to the city. Scheduled power cuts will thus likely be implemented. We’ll inform people of power-cut schedules via the media.
SGGP: Besides raising the public’s awareness about saving power, does the company have any other strategies to save electricity during the dry season?
Mr. Pham Ngoc Minh: We are repairing and maintaining the whole city’s electricity grid so we can save power used in the transmission and distribution of electricity. We are also proposing the HCMC Public Lighting Company (PLC) adjust the times street lights are on to save energy.
SGGP: Can your company ensure sufficient supplies of power for citizens’ daily needs and factories’ production schedules from now to the Lunar New Year holidays (Tet) [falling in February next year]?
Pham Ngoc Minh: The demand for power is now on the increase as Tet approaches. But it will decline as we near Tet, when many factories shut down for the holidays. Thanks to a significant reduction in the demand of power for production, we trust we can ensure an adequate supply of power 24 hours a day over Tet.
We will be regularly carrying out checks on the city’s electricity grid to repair any technical problems (if any) in a timely manner. More technicians will be on duty over the Tet holidays to cope with any breakdowns.
Power Cuts Hit Nation as Dry Season Starts