HANOI, April 29 Vietnam, struggling to meet
soaring energy demand, plans to buy 3.5 billion kilowatt hour
(kWh) from China, up 31 percent from last year, to bridge a
shortfall in output, its main utility group said on Tuesday.
Vietnam Electricity (EVN), would pay about $160 million, or
4.5 U.S. cents per kWh for the import, and retail to users at
between 5.6 cents to 11 cents per kWh, EVN Vice General
Director Nguyen Manh Hung said in an online chat at EVN website
The state-run group which started buying electricity from
China in 2004, imported 2.67 billion kWh last year using spare
capacity from Chinese power plants in the border province of
"However it still depends on the seller because China also
suffers power shortages," Hung said.
Hung also outlined immediate measures taken by EVN to cope
with the power crunch including saving, to a maximum, power for
public lighting and household consumption which together
accounts for about 40.7 percent of total demand.
Hung said reiterated the group's plan to add 45 new power
plants with a total capacity of 14,589 megawatt by 2010.
"Only a small number of the new power plants will be hydro
because we have used up the rivers' capacity, therefore most of
the power plants will be coal-fired or gas-fired," Hung said.
Meanwhile, the utility has started rotating outages after
consumption surged 19 percent in the January-March period, with
the southern region, home to the country's industrial hub
jumping 28 percent, up from an average growth of nearly 14
percent in 2007.
Demand is expected to grow at an average of around 17-18
percent this year while output could only expand by about 15
percent from 2007 to 77 billion KWh, EVN has said.
The government, which plans invest in two nuclear power
plants with a capacity of 4,000 megawatt by 2020, has also
allowed EVN to privatise its power plants and list them on the
stock markets to raise money for expansion.
About 10 major foreign investors, including French utility
EDF (EDF.PA), U.S. firm AES Corporation (AES.N) and Japanese
utility J-Power (9513.T), have shown interest in investing
billions of dollar in coal-fired power plants in Vietnam.
(Reporting by Nguyen Nhat Lam; Editing By Ovais Subhani)