Vietnam Facing Serious Power Shortages in 2013-2014

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Oct. 5 – Vietnam needs to speed up construction of new power plants a government official said on Saturday or risk facing a critical power shortage in 2013 and 2014.

With electrical demand in the country growing, drastic measure will have to be taken to meet the growing need throughout Vietnam, Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, head of the government office, said in a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee.

“Power prices should also be reviewed to attract investment for power plant projects from all sectors,” he said.

Power demand will increase by 15 percent next year the government said, but should local production and power purchases from China and Laos go ahead as planned, that demand is expected to be met. However, if one of the new power projects is delayed or weather conditions are unfavorable, there will be shortages.

According to a report by the NA Economic Committee, most power projects scheduled for completion in 2010-2011 have faced delays. Out of 51 projects the committee has inspected, only five were are schedule.

While a lack of rain has put huge pressure on power production in Vietnam this yea, the main culprit for the country’s power problems is the delays in the construction of new power projects.

Current power prices of around 5 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour don’t encourage investment into the sector, as manufacturers only earn profits at prices of about 7-8 cents per kWh the Vietnam Energy Association said.