Power shortage blamed on delayed projects

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Delays in construction of new power projects are the main reason for Vietnam's power shortage, a senior official says.

"Hydropower plants account for 40 percent of the total power output, and low water levels play a part in the power shortage, but not the whole part," Tran Dinh Long, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Electricity Power Association, told Thanh Nien.

"There was critical power shortage, even during the flooding season, and that's because new power projects are behind schedule."

The government in April had forecast that the lack of water in reservoirs could mean a loss of nearly 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity at hydropower plants this year.

Long said power losses at existing power plants could be offset if there were new plants.

"The power shortage has forced many thermal power plants to continuously run at full capacity, making them prone to technical problems that cause even more critical shortages," he said.

Besides, no measure has been taken to control power consumption in the country, and production has been unable to catch up with rising demand.

Long said the government needs to be stricter in dealing with delayed power projects. Vietnam should also diversify its power sources by developing renewable energy and nuclear power projects, he said.

Vietnam plans to build four nuclear power reactors in the central province of Ninh Thuan, with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts. One of the four is set to be operational in 2020.

Long said if nuclear power can account for around 15 percent of the total output, the power shortage would be eased considerably.

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