Vietnam will have more electricity suppliers next year, giving local consumers a wide range of options instead of forcing them to buy from state-owned EVN, the sole supplier at the moment, an insider said.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam, told Tuoi Tre newspaper on Wednesday that Vietnam will launch a "competitive electricity market" next year.
EVN, as Electricity of Vietnam is often known, will no longer be the only unit buying from power plants and selling at prices set by the government, Tuan said.
He said the Ministry of Industry and Trade is devising a detailed plan for the new market, in which power plants can sell to buyers other than EVN or directly to big consumers such as industrial zones and factories.
“This will end the monopoly status of EVN.”
He said the market will allow the establishment of private power businesses that work as EVN – buying power from the market and selling it down to consumers.
“The sellers will try to reduce their prices and improve their payment services. People will have more choices,” Tuan said.
He said the prices will go up and down on supply and demand, but the government will set a cap.
EVN has been claiming losses to ask for price hikes every year, and it receives an approval from the government almost every time, including for the latest hike of 7.5 percent to VND1,622 (7.7 US cents) per kWh last March.
Its monopoly status has caused consumers to doubt these losses.