Vietnam not to hike power prices despite rising costs

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Vietnam's sole power distributor Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has said it will not hike prices next month because of increased input costs, but warned a long-term plan to increase the tariffs is needed to attract investment.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade  had asked the company to consider a price hike after coal and oil prices rose 40 percent and 30 percent this year.

Average prices have been unchanged at VND1,437 (6.8 US cents) since last December. EVN is allowed to change rates every three months.

But in an interview to Vietnam Television's VTV1 on June 26, Dinh Quang Tri, EVN's deputy director, said "for sure" there would not be a tariff hike.

A roadmap for hiking the rates is needed to create a competitive generation market to attract investment, he said.

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The target is to have prices at a level that would fetch profits but not at as high levels as in neighboring countries, he said.

Tran Viet Ngai, chairman of the Vietnam Energy Association, said the current prices are not good enough to attract investment and suggested they should be around 8 cents per kWh.

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