No power price hikes in April: ministry

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Vietnam's national power utility has momentarily eased concerns saying it has no plans to hike prices this month because of a sudden surge in prices of oil products.

Dang Huy Cuong, chief of the Electricity Regulating Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the ministry has not received any proposal from Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to increase power prices.

"No adjustment in electricity prices will be made in April," he said.

The last hike was last December when average tariffs increased by 5 percent to VND1,304 per kilowatt hour.

Diesel prices rose to VND21,912 on March 28 from VND21,552 per liter while those of fuel oil increased by 4.6 percent to VND18,457 per liter. 

Cuong said EVN has generated some electricity using diesel and fuel oil over the past few days because of the dry season, but has tried to limit the use of the "costly resource."

Apart from hydropower, it will make use of coal and natural gas as much as possible, he added.

EVN had earlier told 6,000 firms in southern Vietnam, which use 60 percent of the power consumed in the region, to prepare for a 10-15 percent power cut, raising concerns over stable supply.

But overall output had increased by 10 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year and EVN has been able to meet the demand, Cuong said.

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