Vietnam eyes power imports from China, Laos

Created 10 August 2018
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Vietnam might have to import power from China and Laos after 2020, a senior official has said.

Vietnam eyes power imports from China, Laos

 

Addressing the Vietnam Energy Forum in Hanoi on Thursday, Hoang Quoc Vuong, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said: “There is a real risk of power shortages in 2021-2023, and the risk will get higher if consumption surpasses forecasts in the coming years.”

Although national power utility Electricity Vietnam (EVN) is currently able to meet the country’s demand, there is a strong likelihood that the increasing needs of a 95-million population outstrip the capacity.

This can happen as early as 2020 if the generators don’t operate well or there is not enough coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to produce power, EVN Deputy Director Ngo Son Hai said at the forum.

While more coal power projects are being built in the south, shortages can happen if these constructions run behind schedule, he said.

Power shortage will increase by 7.2-7.5 billion kilowatts hours a year in the southern region for each delayed project, Hai said, adding that there were seven underway at present.

Southern provinces need more coal power projects be built to provide over 18,000 megawatts needed in the next five years, but none of them have opened yet, Hai said.

Deputy Minister Vuong proposed that Vietnam starts importing electricity from Laos and China, to meet rising demand in the country.

The country should also create favorable conditions for renewable power projects, like solar and wind power, be developed near high consumption areas, he added.

He said encouraging the installation of rooftop solar power systems could be one solution to address the looming power shortage, Vuong said.

Last year, Vietnam produced and bought 199 billion kilowatts hours, 44.2 percent of which was produced from renewable energy sources, 54.6 percent from fossil fuel (coal, gas and oil) and 1.2 percent imported, according to the Vietnam Energy Association.

To meet the high demand for power, Vietnam needs to produce 278 billion kilowatt hours in 2020, and this number needs to double by 2030, according to EVN.

The country’s installed power capacity is estimated to reach 47,800 megawatts by the end of 2018, 5.4 times that of 2003, making the country second in ASEAN and 25th in the world, EVN said.

 

Source: VNE

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