Power monopoly to limit supply to new customers

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Fearing an energy shortage, state power monopoly Electricity of Vietnam said it aims to save energy by restricting electricity supplies to new industrial customers with a capacity of more than five megawatts.

The company, known as EVN, said the move would be implemented from now until June as one of several vital power-saving solutions.

Electricity company leaders are also planning to meet with the largest industrial electricity consumers for discussions about power-saving solutions, such as production adjustments that could save 5-10 percent of the power currently being used.

EVN said some customers should use electric generators for part of their power demand

Other solutions proposed by EVN included halving the number of street lights.

EVN also demanded that companies using high-capacity lights on their advertising billboards must cut down on the number of lights and switch them off after 10 p.m., the company said, noting that it would stop supplying power to companies that fail to do so.

Vietnam was very likely at risk of facing a severe power shortage within the next three months, given the soaring demand and insufficient supply from local power plants and imported power sources, local newswire Vietnamnet recently quoted the Ministry of Industry and Trade as saying.

Most hydropower reservoirs are very low on water due to dry weather, especially those in the northern region, which account for a considerable part of the national power supply, the news source reported.

Water levels recorded on Wednesday at Yen Bai Province's Thac Ba Reservoir, one of Vietnam's largest artificial lakes, was 5.23 meters lower than previous years.

In the meantime, many major thermo-power plants, like Quang Ninh No.1 and Cam Pha, have reported operational problems.

Up to six new power plants with a total capacity of 450 megawatts failed to open as scheduled in the first three months of this year, the report said.

Not to mention that the amount of power bought from China had decreased by 100 million kWh due to repairs on infrastructure there, according to the news wire.

Worse still, power demand was increasing dramatically, the ministry said.

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