29 May 2003 – State-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) will invest in the construction of 28 power plants to raise capacity by 9600 MW to meet growing electricity demand, according to company officials.
EVN said that the new power plants will comprise 18 hydropower plants, with a total capacity of 4000 MW, and ten thermal power plants, with a total capacity of 5600 MW.
The electricity grid system is also to be expanded across the country with EVN investing VND10 trillion ($665m) in the city’s electricity system to increase supply capacity from 25.5 million kWh a day to 64.6 million kWh a day over the next seven years.
The investments will improve quality of service, and ensure sufficient supplies to Ho Chi Minh City residents during the peak period of the dry season. Over the past four months, the city suffered from extreme temperatures, and power consumption rose by 20 per cent. This resulted in 110 power outages due to overloaded substations.
Electricity consumption in Ho Chi Minh City accounts for 25 per cent of the country’s total. Power consumption in the city is expected to increase to 12 billion kWh a year by 2005 and more than 23 billion kWh a year by 2010.
EVN officials said that the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region requires another VND2000bn ($140m) in upgrades to the electricity distribution network in around 1100 communes.
Electricity demand in the region is forecast to grow by 13 per cent annually towards the year 2010. Longer-term energy development plans include the construction of two gas-fired thermal power plants by 2005; One in the O Mon District of Can Tho Province and another in Ca Mau Province. Construction of the plant – which is called O Mon 1 and will include two 300 MW gas turbines – will cost around $550m, funded mainly by Japan’s official development assistance and partly by EVN’s own sources
International finance providers, such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), have provided funding for Vietnam to develop infrastructure projects including the needed electricity upgrades across the country.
According to EVN, Cambodia is also asking to buy electricity from Vietnam, amid rising local demand, because the cost of imported electricity from Vietnam is lower than the cost of the current diesel-fired power in the country.