Southern Vietnam faces power starvation

Power cuts are a huge issue for the industrial and manufacturing sectors in southern Vietnam.

Southern Vietnam, which is home to commercial hubs like Ho Chi Minh City and manufacturing clusters such as Dong Nai and Binh Duong, may face more power shortages from 2017.

The country’s total power output is likely to fall short of the south’s demand by 10-15 percent, said Duong Quang Thanh, chairman of state monopoly Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).

The state utility plans to run more power plants on diesel to produce about 5 billion kilowatt-hours per year starting from next year to supplement supplies in the south, Thanh added.

He said shortages may be worse from 2018-2019, which will force EVN to increase its annual output from diesel to 8.5 billion kilowatt-hours per year.

Diesel-generated power costs twice as much as coal-fired electricity, said Cao Quoc Hung, deputy trade minister, explaining that diesel generators are expensive to operate and are used only when absolutely necessary. Keep reading