The Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) have warned of severe shortage of power during the next dry season as existing hydropower plants are now old and new ones have still not been constructed.
EVN said 89 hydropower plants, excluding some smaller plants, produce around 25,565 MW of electricity a year and EVN expects to add around 1,283 MW by year end.
However, energy demand in Vietnam is growing by upto 11.1 percent and to ensure supply of 150.5 billion kWh, EVN plans to raise capacity by 33,017 MW across 15 new plants.
With the Ministry unwilling to exploit hydropower plants any more and EVN having no back up system, people in the south will face irregular supply during the next dry season.
In addition, a series of construction works in the South are running far behind schedule such as the 500kV Pleiku-My Phuoc-Cau Bong power transmission system invested by National Power Transmission Corporation with VND9,288 billion across six provinces, including the highland provinces of Pleiku, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, the southern province of Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City.
Tran Viet Ngai, Chairman of Vietnam Energy Association, said as per development plan for the period 2011-2020 with vision for 2030, the country should have 52 coal thermal power plants, two nuclear power plants and some hydroelectric power projects.
Funds for these projects are estimated at US$50 billion, and capital is severely lacking. Besides there is need for 50 million tons of coal a year and the coal sector can only provide around 40 million a year.
The government should tackle these matters soon or else shortage of electricity will impact all aspects of development in coming years.