Director of the Electricity Regulatory Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MoIT) Dang Huy Cuong has claimed that Vietnam will not suffer from power shortages this year, the Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) reported.

He ensured with the VIR that enterprises and the public will be supplied with sufficient electricity for production and living, adding that the MoIT had carefully calculated power demand and the power industry’s capacity this year.

“From now until the end of the year, there will be additional 1,800-1,900 megawatts supplied to the national grid, because many new power projects will be put into operation,” Cuong was quoted as saying.

The Pleiku-My Phuoc- Cau Bong 550kV transmission line was integrated into the national power grid earlier this month. Run by the Vietnam National Power Transmission Corporation, the line passes through five provinces: Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong in the Central Highlands, and Binh Phuoc and Binh Duong in the south.

“The operation of this line is very important for transmitting power to the southern region which has frequently been hit by power shortages. It will also allow the import of electricity from Laos, and connect the power grids of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia after 2015,” said state-run Electricity of Vietnam’s (EVN) National Power Transmission Corporation’s Vice General Director Tran Quoc Lam.

Last month, the second 42 megawatt turbine of Song Bac hydroelectricity plant in Ha Giang province was also put into operation.

Businesses have continuously lodged complaints with the government and local authorities in recent years, claiming that power cuts have had a detrimental effect on Vietnam’s investment climate.

Late last month, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai ordered the power industry to find ways to supply sufficient electricity for the public and enterprises this year, against a backdrop of a looming energy shortfall.

Hai said construction of the 1.244MW Vinh Tan 2 thermal power plant in Binh Thuan province, and Tra Vinh province’s 1.245MW Duyen Hai 1 and 1.200MW Duyen Hai 2 thermal power plants, and the 220 kV Dak Nong-Phuoc Long-Binh Long transmission line running through Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc provinces must be accelerated.

EVN claimed the Vinh Tan 2, Duyen Hai 1, 600MW Nghi Son 1 thermal power plant in Thanh Hoa province, and 1,200MW Hai Phong 2 thermal power plant would be put into operation this year.

Some 5.8 billion USD would be invested by EVN into building five new power projects with total capacity of 2,555MW, including Thai Binh, Vinh Tan 4, the expanded Duyen Hai 3 thermal power project, and the expanded Thac Mo and Da Nhim hydropower projects.

According to the MoIT, in this year’s first four months, Vietnam produced nearly 42 billion kWh, up 10.28 percent year-on-year. This would meet local power demands, the ministry claimed.

In April, Vietnam produced 11.42 billion kWh, up 12.83 percent year-on-year, with power for construction growing 12.37 percent, power for trade and hotels and restaurants increasing 4.73 percent, and power for agro-forestry-aquatic production climbing 7.78 percent, against the same period last year.

Figures for April revealed that 35.6 percent of power was generated by hydropower projects, 34 percent by gas turbines, 27.7 percent by coal-fired thermal power projects and the rest was from other sources.-VNA