Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has tasked the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) with setting up an inspection team to assess Electricity Vietnam's (EVN) management and supply of electricity from early 2021 to June this year.
|Inside an EVN's power management center. Source: EVN|
According to the Prime Minister's request on June 6, the MoIT is responsible for conducting a comprehensive review and assessment of the current electricity supply situation while developing scenarios to effectively address any electricity problems, with a deadline of June 10.
Chinh also urged the ministry to finalize the Electricity Efficiency Program for 2023-2025 and the Directive on Ensuring the Supply of Coal and Gas for Electricity Generation and report to the Prime Minister by June 8 and June 15, respectively.
The scorching heat of recent months has led to a significant increase in electricity demand. In May, the average daily power consumption across the country reached nearly 820 million kWh, up over 20% month on month. In addition, peak power consumption reached a record high of 44,600 MW, an increase of 8.5% compared to the same period last year.
At the same time, a drought caused by El Niño led to a shortage of water in hydroelectric reservoirs. By early June, major dams in the northern region, including Lai Chau, Son La, Ban Ve, and Tuyen Quang, were within 1-2 meters of the critical dead water level required for power generation.
To mitigate this, the power sector has developed a strategy to maximize the use of coal, oil, gas, and renewable energy sources. This approach aims to maintain and gradually raise water levels in the large northern dams.
The Prime Minister also tasked EVN with mobilizing all available resources and concerted efforts to find solutions to ensure a stable electricity supply.
The focus is on developing flexible scenarios to deal with power supply challenges and quickly resolving any problems faced by factories, especially in the northern region, so that they can resume operations promptly.
In response to EVN's request, State-owned Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries (Vinacomin) and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) are expected to ensure the supply of coal and gas for power plants.
EVN will resolve all issues at the power plants under its management to ensure they are operational by June.
In cooperation with EVN, local people's committees, enterprises and power companies, provinces, and cities are asked to implement strategies to solve power supply problems and increase power saving in the foreseeable future.
EVN's initial forecast at the end of April indicated a potential shortfall of 1,600-4,900 MW of electricity in the northern region during the dry season. However, more than a month later, the power supply situation has become even more critical. According to calculations by the National Load Dispatch Center (A0), the northern power system could face a shortage of about 8,000 MW in extreme scenarios.
Consequently, A0 has proposed increasing the maximum blackout level for the national power system from 8,000 MW to 15,000 MW, reducing the power supplied to the North by 8,100 MW. The largest power cuts are expected in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, amounting to about 4,100 MW.
To ensure adequate electricity supply under these challenging circumstances, EVN has proposed that localities implement electricity conservation measures, targeting a 10-15% reduction in energy consumption by Government agencies, administrative units, non-business entities, and public lighting.
Since June 6, EVN's units have implemented urgent energy conservation measures that will remain in effect until the end of August. The power company is also urging customers to adjust their electricity consumption patterns during the peak hours of the hot weather.