REGULATION | Staff Reporter, Vietnam

Vietnam may face 6.6 billion kWh electricity shortage in 2021

47 out of 62 power projects are delayed.

Vietnam could face an electricity shortage of 6.6 billion kWh in 2021 and 11.8 billion kWh in 2022, a report by Vietnam Plus revealed.

The shortage is blamed on the delayed progress in 47 of 62 power projects, with capacities of more than 200MW, under Vietnam’s Power Master Plan VII, explained Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority’s director Phuong Hoang Kim.

Also read: Winds of change: Vietnam pushes for more developments amidst growing energy demand

The main reason for the delayed progress was blamed on capital and contractor issues, as well as the removal of the government guarantee mechanism for power projects, which has made it difficult to raise capital.

VIetnam has implemented power projects in three investment models including those invested by Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Vietnam National Coal and Minerals Group (Vinacomin), as well as build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects and independent power producer (IPP) projects.

“It took a long time for BOT projects to negotiate power prices with EVN to ensure their profits, thus causing delays,” the report noted, adding that prolonged land clearance and low power tariffs have not made the situation easier.

Deputy minister of industry and trade Hoang Quoc Vuong proposed that the government should promote the implementation of renewable energy projects as they take a short time to complete. According to EVN, it only took six months for them to implement a solar power project whilst that of a 220kV or 500kV plant took three to five years.

“He added that the ministry would consider importing electricity from Laos and China to resolve the power shortage. However, this would be a temporary solution. The country should accelerate the progress of large power projects,” the report said.

Also read: IPPs push projects into Vietnam's open electricity market

In H1 2019, electricity consumption jumped 10% YoY because of the prolonged hot weather, and power consumption is expected to increase by another 10% by end-2019.

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