Developing a lot of power plants, EVN still buys Chinese electricity

VietNamNet Bridge – The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the only electricity wholesaler buyer, plans to buy 293 million kwh of electricity from China in June 2013.

Vietnam, national grid, EVN, electricity price, household use, MOIT

EVN has predicted that the additional charge is believed to reach 384 million kwh a day in June. The biggest capacity hovers around 19,600-19,900 MW.

Since it is now the dry season, EVN plans to prioritize to use the electricity to be churned out by coal run and gas turbine run thermopower plants. The electricity mobilization from the plants would be reduced when floods appear which would allow higher levels of exploiting electricity from the Son La and Hoa Binh  hydropower plants.

According to EVN, in May 2013, the conglomerate satisfied the electricity demand for the socio-economic development.

EVN in June plans to continue and finish a series of power plant projects and prepare for the plants to provide electricity to the national grid. It has reaffirmed the electricity supply to Samsung Electronics in Thai Nguyen as scheduled. Especially, it would gather strength to speed up the construction of the 500 kv Pleiku – My Phuoc – Cau Bong which is scheduled to provide electricity to the national grid by the end of 2013.

However, despite a lot of projects which are under the construction and expected to get completed in the time to come, EVN still plans to import power from China in large quantity. Meanwhile, some domestic power plants have complained that EVN refused to buy power from them.

A report showed that in 2012, EVN exploited 54.4 billion kwh, or 3.58 billion kwh higher than the planned. Though the electricity supply in 2012 was profuse, Vietnam’s electricity imports from China still reached 2.5-2.8 billion kwh. And EVN plans to continue buying 3.6 billion kwh from China this year.

Why EVN continues buying electricity from China despite the existence of numerous domestic power plants, which have led to the sharp increase in the electricity output, remains questionable.

It is also enigmatic why EVN accepts to buy electricity at high prices from China, but it only pays low to domestic plants.

Observers have noted the upward trend in the electricity imports price. A report of the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that in 2011, Vietnam bought Chinese electricity at UScent5.8 per kwh, while the figure rose to UScent6.08 in 2012, or VND1,300.

Meanwhile, the domestic small hydropower plants could sell electricity at VND800 per kwh. Especially, the price sometimes dropped to VND500. Coal run power plants could sell electricity at higher price, but it was no more than VND1,300 per kwh.

In related news, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has drafted a new mechanism on electricity pricing, under which, the average electricity price to be applied to the production enterprises would increase by 2-7 percent, while the retail price of the electricity to serve household use would decrease by 5-8 percent.

The noteworthy thing is that the ministry has set up specific electricity price levels for the steel and cement manufacturing, which are higher by 2-15 percent than other production sectors.

Dat Viet

Vietnam, national grid, EVN, electricity price, household use, MOIT