Vietnam’s government told regional authorities to handle rolling power blackouts in an “equitable” fashion as it said the Thua Thien Hue province will experience electricity cuts starting next month.
“Politically or socially important” events should be given priority in receiving power during the current dry season, the government said in a statement on its website today, without providing clarification of what events meet those criteria. Provincial authorities should approve a list of users that can be exempt from power cuts, according to the statement.
Thua Thien Hue Power Co. plans to cut power in the central province by 9.3 percent in March and April, by 21.1 percent in May and 13.7 percent in June, the government said. Priority will be given to industrial production and agricultural irrigation, according to the statement.
Blackouts were set to affect some of the country’s 91 million people from February 15, Vietnam News reported February 10. Record-low levels at water reservoirs are cutting hydropower production, state-run Electricity of Vietnam, known as EVN, said yesterday. The utility said last month it faces a shortfall of 3 billion kilowatt-hours in this year’s dry season.
Vietnam may increase the cost of average household electricity by a record 15 percent next month, Vietnam News reported February 14. EVN sells electricity at 30 percent to 40 percent below production cost, it said in a statement today.
Rolling outages may inconvenience overseas manufacturers using Vietnam as an export base. Severe power cuts “would make it very difficult for me to explain to the board that we want to stay here and want to develop the company here,” Boy Schallert, managing director of Aalborg Industries A/S in the northern city of Hai Phong, said by telephone this week. The company has no imminent plans to leave the country, he said.
Vietnam depends on hydropower for about 37 percent of its electricity, followed by gas at 36 percent and coal at 16 percent, according to statistics from the Association of the Electricity Supply Industry of East Asia and the Western Pacific.