Vietnam's state utility EVN demands delayed repayment of debts amid power shortage-Xinhua

Vietnam's state utility EVN demands delayed repayment of debts amid power shortage

Source: Xinhua| 2023-05-17 16:53:00|Editor: huaxia

HANOI, May 17 (Xinhua) -- State utility Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) has asked the country's top coal suppliers to delay its repayment of debts amid financial difficulties and imminent power shortage, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The group has also called on the two suppliers, namely Vinacomin and Dong Bac Corporation, to lower coal prices and increase their supplies to coal-fired plants ahead of a blistering summer.

The request came after EVN was permitted to raise its average retail electricity price by 3 percent earlier this month.

EVN has warned of electricity shortages this summer in northern Vietnam amid squeezed hydropower and thermal power.

Thermal power plants are faced with a shortage of coal supplies up of 1.3 million tons due to low inventories, which would affect power plants' power generation especially in the first half of this year, said EVN.

Meanwhile, hydropower plants are expected to cut their run rates as the El Nino weather pattern may develop in the later months of the year, bring less rainfall in the mainland and thus lower water levels in the hydroelectric reservoirs, EVN said in a report.

As the Southeast Asian country has entered the hot season during the May-July period, power consumption in the northern provinces is forecast to increase 15 percent from a year ago, causing an electricity shortage of between 1,600 and 4,900 megawatts, EVN added.

"The current challenge is to generate enough electricity to meet demand of the economy," Vo Quang Lam, deputy general director of EVN, told Tuoi Tre.

The state-run utility called on businesses and households to save energy, saying using electricity efficiently would be a solution to ensure enough electricity over the summer months.

EVN has asked the public sector, at both state and local levels, to apply measures to reduce energy usage by 10 percent from a year before. Hospitals, schools, and other large energy users are asked to cut their usage by 5 percent.

Restaurants, hotels, commercial buildings and residential complexes are asked to halve their energy consumption by turning off advertising lights.

The Vietnamese government has approved a power development plan with an estimated investment of 134.7 billion U.S. dollars to shift away from coal-fired electricity generation towards cleaner forms of energy including wind, solar and gas.