EVN urged to ensure sufficient electricity for economy

The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) should continue playing a crucial role in supplying adequate electricity for the economy while taking the lead in the development of new and renewable energy sources, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

Speaking at a conference in Hanoi on January 6 to review the group’s 2015 performance, Deputy PM hailed the sector for ensuring sufficient power for the economy and preparing standby resources.

The group has basically changed its perception in serving customers and increased the transparency of electricity prices, he said, adding that the rising number of multi-purpose hydropower plants has helped balance the water demand for daily activities and agriculture production.

However, he noted that it will be difficult for the national group to mobilise investment capital for power projects as the capital market is incomplete. Meanwhile, customers have increasing demands for better and more transparent services.

The current standby electricity generating system could not work within two years, hence, the EVN needs more drastic investment measures to cope with the issue, he suggested.

Proper changes in planning and scientific calculation and research are essential to ensure a safe and stable system, he said, recommending boosting administrative reform and encouraging e-payment.

EVN Deputy Director General Dinh Quang Tri reported that in 2015, the average use of electricity per capita was 1,536 kWh per annum, up 56% over 2010.

Over the past five years, the commercial electricity posted an average growth of 10.84%. Electricity generated for industry and construction climbed by 11.7% on a yearly basis, while that for consumption up 9.6%, trade-services 14.1%, and agriculture 20.1%.

The commercial electricity output reached 143.34 billion kWh in 2015, surpassing the yearly target by 1.54 billion kWh and increasing 11.44% year-on-year.

Tri said the total electricity capacity for 2016 is estimated at over 38,800 MW. The commercial electricity output is expected to expand by 11-12% over 2015.

The southern power system will still have to cover around 25% of demand from the northern and central regions (about 20 billion kWh for the whole year), he said, stressing the importance of ensuring gas fuel and coal for stable and safe operation of power plants in the south such as Vinh Tan 2 and Duyen Hai 1.

According to Tri, in order to realise this year’s targets, the EVN has coordinated with the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and the PetrolVietnam Gas (PV Gas) to ensure the smooth operation of the power generating system across the country.

The EVN National Power Transmission Corporation (EVN NPT) is responsible for operating safely power transmission lines and transformer stations, especially the 500kV North-South power system in the dry season.

Electricity companies must improve procedures to increase the electricity access index.