The official launch of Vietnam ’s competitive power generation market has been postponed three months to next April instead of the beginning of next year as scheduled.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said on Dec. 13, there had not been enough preparations to ensure the efficient operation of a competitive power generation market, which had been piloted since last July.

“Three major problems had caused the delay,” Hai said

First, some power generating units had yet to install technology for the collection and processing of information to calculate their power prices.

Second, some regulations have been amended but have not yet been tested.

Third, transferring the sale and purchase agreements from a State contract to a market contract had faced difficulties.

Hai asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade and other relevant agencies to complete the preparations for a further assessment of the situation in February, before a final confirmation could be made on the timing for the entry into a competitive power market.

The ministry was also asked to soon finalise a plan for monitoring the country’s power system throughout the year, especially hydro electricity plants, to ensure water use efficiency and power supply in the dry season.

A competitive electricity market aims to ensure competition in power production and pricing, improve efficiency and attract more funding for power generation.

As the power generation market develops, customers will have more opportunities to select power providers.

The market will operate under the model of a cost-based pool in which power producers will charge prices based on the market.

As scheduled, Vietnam will run a competitive power generation market until the end of 2014 before a competitive power wholesale market is introduced in 2015. The whole electricity sector will be fully operated under market mechanisms after 2020 with the launch of a competitive power retail market./.