Electricity sector copes with water shortages hinh anh 1Electricity workers. (Photo: VNA)

The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) corporation has stepped up efforts and preparations to cope with droughts and water shortages caused by the El Nino phenomenon to ensure a stable supply of electricity nationwide.

El Nino is an abnormal weather phenomenon caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean.

It began at the end of 2014, and it was expected to last until next year, the EVN said.

According to the EVN, water volumes in reservoirs in the North and Central regions of the country have been much lower than normal since August, especially water levels in reservoirs in the Central Highlands, which have dropped to record lows.

Le Dinh Ban, Deputy Director of A Vuong Hydropower Joint Stock Company under the EVN, said the rainy season began in September, but the average speed of the water flow in rivers has been recorded at 17 cubic metres per second, a drop of 68 percent compared to the same period last year. As a result, A Vuong Hydropower Plant only operated from four to six hours per day.

The National Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to reserve water and to collaborate with the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development to properly manage and ensure water supply for daily needs and agricultural production.

The committees also asked the two ministries and relevant agencies to place priority on providing water for irrigation stations, especially during drought periods.

To address the problem of water shortage, the EVN said it would manage water usage in a proper manner to ensure adequate water supply for low-lands and to reserve water.

The EVN aims to ensure adequate coal supply for Duyen Hai 1 and Vinh Tan 2 thermal-power plants, which provide electricity for the South. In addition, it will accelerate the construction of other power plants in Binh Thuan, Tra Vinh and Thai Binh.

In October, despite water shortages, the electricity sector said it will ensure water supply and reservation.

It was projected that the loads (the amount of electric power used by a machine) of the national grid will reach 164.4 billion kWh at the end of this year, an increase from 12 to 13 percent compared to 2014, the EVN said.

The EVN said it has taken measures to ensure that reserved water volumes would be enough to fill reservoirs at the end of this year, and ensure water supply for electricity generation in the dry season next year.

In addition, it has taken steps to repair and upgrade coal thermal-power plants and turbine systems to ensure that they will function properly in the rainy season this year. This will help to maximise the reservation of water, it said.

The EVN also prepared plans to handle electricity shortages in case the Central-South grid had any problems, considering it experienced overloads over the last year.-VNA