Workers at a 500-kV Nha Be electricity substation in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - To deal with possible electrical shortages during the dry season, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) will make the most of all power sources, including coal, gas, diesel-fueled and hydropower stations, a representative of the corporation has said.

EVN predicts that electricity demand during this year’s dry season will increase 12 percent over the same period last year, due to higher temperatures.

The electricity generation capacity of the entire power system could be up to 31,800MW in May and June, much higher than the maximum capacity of 27,066MW in the first quarter.

According to EVN Deputy Director General Ho Manh Tuan, in the first quarter, electricity production and import of the entire system reached 44 billion kWh, increasing 7.7 percent over the same period in 2016. The maximum capacity of the entire system was 27,066MW, increasing 10.6 percent year-on-year.

Demand for power consistently peaks in the second quarter of the year.

To meet this increased demand for electricity, EVN said they would use reservoirs to ensure sufficient water for the operation of hydropower facilities in the lowlands, and will continue tapping coal and gas sources. If necessary, the group will operate oil turbines to ensure supply.

Meanwhile, the corporation has called for the reduction of power wastage.

Vu Xuan Khu, deputy director of the National Load Dispatch Centre, said that the electricity system will be able to meet national demand.

However, the sources are unevenly distributed, mainly in the north, thus the central and southern areas often have to be supplied with extra power.  

EVN has requested the National Power Transmission Corporation to strengthen the management and operation of the transmission lines, ensuring high capacity and continuous transmission during the dry season, especially on the North-South 500kV transmission system.

According to the Vietnam Energy Association, during the 2017-20 period, the southern region would face a shortage of 10 to 15 percent of its own demand for power and would have to receive a transmission of 15 billion kWh in 2017 and 21 billion kWh in 2019.

Khu, from the National Load Dispatch Centre, said in the coming six months, the transmission output to the south would be 5.9 billion kWh.

Last year, EVN completed 351 electricity works of 110 kV to 500 kV with a total power line length of 4,800km across the nation.

At the meeting with relevant ministries, localities, investors and contractors for construction of Long Phu 1 thermal power plants in the southern province of Soc Trang and Song Hau 1 in Hau Giang province in March, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung stressed the possibility of severe power shortages in the south in 2018 and 2019. 

The Steering Committee for Power Supply and Conservation of HCM City has forecast that in 2017, especially in the dry season, drought and high temperatures will lead to high demand for electricity and thus power shortages.

Data from the HCMC Power Corporation (EVN HCMC) showed that at the moment, the city’s daily electricity consumption amounts to 76.5 million kWh, 5 percent higher than the same period last year, and is forecast to rise.

To ensure sufficient power supply for production, business and household activities, the steering committee has called for energy saving measures to be adopted.

According to city authorities, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade is coordinating with EVN HCMC to closely monitor electricity consumption. Enterprises have been urged to use energy efficiently, restrict power use at peak hours and prepare backup generators.

In addition, the Department of Industry and Trade will provide energy saving guidelines for public agencies to make sure at least 10 percent of electricity costs are saved.

Meanwhile, EVN HCMC will work with districts to promote electricity conservation by encouraging households to restrict the use of high-capacity devices at peak hours to prevent the power grid from overloading.

The city is accelerating preparations for backup power sources to ensure normal business and production activities in case of a power shortfall.

Vietnam currently has 70 large and medium sized hydropower plants with a total capacity of more than 14,000 MW.-VNA