Vietnam power utility posts smaller loss than predicted

TN News

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State-owned utility Electricity of Vietnam has reported an estimated loss of VND3.5 trillion in 2011 (US$166.4 million), lower than its original projection of VND11 trillion.

The group, also known as EVN, has taken measures to cut operating costs to reduce losses, news website VnExpress reported Friday, citing General Director Pham Le Thanh.

Although electricity prices were raised in 2011, EVN continued to incur losses as prices were still low, Thanh said, adding that the utility also had to spend more money to run oil-powered plants and take out short-term loans at high interest rates to fund its projects.

EVN raised electricity prices by 5 percent in December, the second hike in 2011. The average power tariff is now VND1,304 per kilowatt-hour.

Thanh said the group will restructure its business this year and withdraw its investments in real estate, stock and banking sectors.

EVN targets a total electricity generation of 118.5 billion kilowatt-hours in 2012, including 67.62 billion kilowatt-hours purchased from providers outside the group.

It posted losses of VND10.16 trillion in 2010.

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