Vietnam 'adjusts' power prices

By Ngan Anh, TN News

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Tensions with China after its dispatch of an oil rig in the East Sea has not yet affected power projects implemented by Chinese contractors (Photo: Ngoc Thang) Tensions with China after its dispatch of an oil rig in the East Sea has not yet affected power projects implemented by Chinese contractors (Photo: Ngoc Thang)

The new electricity price cheme, effective as from this month, will help many households and businesses pay less for their bill, and won't affect inflation, an official has said.
The average power price remains unchanged at VND1,508 (7 US cents) per kWh, Dinh The Phuc, deputy director of of Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV), said at a press conference on Monday.
The energy cost is still calculated based on cumulative scheme, with the rate of unit price increasing as the amount of electricity used. 
"In general, the energy costs for households and businesses will reduce compared with [before the adjustment]," Phuc said.
The steepest increase is slapped those who used less than 50kWh, who will have to pay VND1,388/kWh, instead of VND993 as before.
As a result, those who use less than 100kWh per month will see their bill increase while those who use more than 200kWh per month will pay less.
However, poor families will still enjoy using 30kWh free of charge every month.
The power retail price increase will not impact the inflation rate this year, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in April expected this year's inflation to be 5 percent. 
Phuc, the ERAV official, said the country will have sufficient electricity this year.
The Electricity of Vietnam, the state-owned monopoly of power distribution, has been instructed to expand thermo-electricity projects to offset the reduction of output from major hydro-power plants in the northern and central regions during the dry months between June and August, he said.
Phuc said tensions with China after its dispatch of an oil rig in the East Sea has not affected power projects implemented by Chinese contractors.
Vietnam produced 54.4 billion kWh of electricity between January and May, posting an increase of 11 percent over the same period last year, according to the ministry.
Usage charge (VND/kWh)
 0-50kWh  1,388
 51-100kWh  1,433
 101-200kWh  1,660
 201-300kWh  2,082
 301-400kWh  2,324
 401kWh or more  2,399

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