Hiep Phuoc Power to charge extra fee

Hiep Phuoc Power Ltd. will continue to supply power with a extra fee in three months starting on April 1st, the Ho Chi Minh City-based sole electricity provider said in a meeting with customers last week.

An electrician is working on power cables on a HCMC street. Power provider Hiep Phuoc will continue to provide customer with stable electricity flow (Photo:Minh Tri)

Hiep Phuoc Power Ltd. Company said in a report that the firm has suffered a heavy loss of US$45.5 million since 2005 due to the surging global crude oil and the government’s cap on the retail power prices.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based sole electricity provider said it asked the HCMC People’s Committee to allow it to raise the retail price, but the request was denied.

Earlier, the government has approved an investment project of gas pipeline worth hundreds of millions of dollars, helping Hiep Phuoc Power Plant to reduce input cost.

The 39-kilometer pipeline, operated by PetroVietnam Gas, a unit of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, supplies gas to the Hiep Phuoc Power Plant in Nha Be District, according to TuoiTre Newspaper.

The plant transforms 2.7 million cubic meters of the relatively clean alternative fuel into energy for the city each day.

PetroVietnam Gas, however, supplied gas to the plant in seven months only before suspended in last May, asking the electricity provider to wait until 2013.

The Central Trading and Development Group, the parent company of the electricity firm, has had to use their profits from other businesses to keep the Hiep Phuoc Power Plant alive while waiting for PetroVietnam Gas to resupply gas.

Nevertheless, the Taiwan-based group has not been able to subsidize the power firm’s losses since its construction subsidiary Phu My Hung Venture could not sell any products in the last 18 months.

To survive, Hiep Phuoc Power Ltd. submitted three solutions to the government – asking the PetroVietnam Gas to resupply gas, asking the state utility Electricity of Vietnam to sell electricity to the firm or allowing the firm to transfer their electricity business to the state utility.

If the proposed solutions are disapproved, Hiep Phuoc will temporarily charge the fuel fee in three months starting on April 1st.

Unpleasant customers
Hiep Phuoc Power Ltd. is providing power at the price of US 5 cents for one kilowatt per hour (kWh), which includes an extra fee of 12 cents per kWh.

Customers, which are businesses in the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Zone in Nha Be District, said the electricity from the power was very stable, but the extra fee would push up their input costs.

“We have been operational in the industrial zone for two years. Hiep Phuoc Power Ltd. said they lost $45 million in the last five years, and so did we; but we have not asked them to reduce their price. Therefore, we cannot accept the extra fee,” said William Khoury, general director of Saigon Premier Container Terminal.

Pham Van Dung, general director of paper maker Xuan Mai, said “our electricity bill reaches VND350 million ($17,500) monthly. It will surge to VND1 billion in accordance with Hiep Phuoc Power’s new price.”

Responding to customers’ complainant, Zhang Yin Fu, general director of the power firm, said the firm will continue to provide stable electricity flow and wait for the government’s decision on its proposals.

By Minh Tuan – Translated by Ngoc Son

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