According to the group, the total installed capacity of the national power system is 38,300 MW, while the maximum load capacity is close to 26,600 MW. This means the system has around 20-30% of standby electricity to meet the anticipated surging demand.
The power consumption in June is estimated at 16.2 billion kWh. However, as of May 9, the total amount of water in hydropower reservoirs could generate only 4.76 billion kWh of electricity, a shortfall from the normal rising water level of 9.75 billion kWh. The low water level in reservoirs of central and southern regions could generate a mere 2.21 billion kWh, or 86% f the level of the previous year’s same period.
EVN Deputy General Director Ngo Son Hai attributed the situation to the effects of El Nino, noting that most of the reservoirs contain only 80% of their designed capacity.
Given this, EVN plans to increase the load capacity by 11% as approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and possibly even higher at 13-14%, he said.
He raised the fact that in the first four months of 2016, the national power system generated over 56 billion kWh, a year-on-year increase of 13.91%. The EVN had to take full use of gas turbines and coal-fired thermal power plants in the southern region to cater for local demand.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked EVN to coordinate with drought-hit localities to regulate the flow of water from reservoirs to ensure sufficient water for production and daily activities, particularly in the lower part of rivers, he added.
Deputy head of the MoIT’s Electricity Regulatory Authority Dinh The Phuc said EVN has had to utilise oil – an expensive natural resource to generate 650 million kWh of electricity since late 2015.
EVN has coordinated with the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin) to ensure adequate provision of coal and gas for the smooth and stable operation of the two groups’ power stations, he added.
EVN’s National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT) transmitted a large amount of electricity from the north to the central and southern regions over the recent prolonged drought.
It also put into operation a number of facilities to meet the power demand in the south, including the 220kV Vung Ang – Ba Don – Dong Hoi power line and the 500kV Pleiku 2-Cau Bong power lines.
Deputy Director of EVN NPT Nguyen Tuan Tung said the operation of the 220kV Xekaman 1- Pleiku 2 power line between Vietnam and Laos is expected to supplement 300 MW of electricity for the southern part of Vietnam.
The corporation is accelerating the implementation of other projects, especially the 500kV Duyen Hai – My Tho power line, he added.
As the dry season is peaking in the north, EVN is preparing to increase the load capacity by 20% – the highest posssible level – in case of a worsening situation.
The group said it has upgraded coal-fired thermal power and gas turbine plants to supply electricity for locals in the coming months, as well as closely coordinating with PetroVietnam to map out plans to repair the PM3 Ca Mau and Nam Con Son gas pipelines to provide gas for power generation in the south.
According to the group, during May and June, the country could generate nearly 13.8 billion kWh of electricity from coal-fueled thermal plants, 9.39 billion kWh from hydropower, 8.6 billion kWh from gas turbines, and 481 million kWh from oil.
The power transmission from the north to the central region could reach over 2.2 billion kWh while that from the central region to the south could be nearly 2 billion kWh.
This means the national power system have sufficient power sources to satisfy local demand, EVN Deputy General Director Hai confirmed.