Power supply will meet the anticipated surge in demand during the dry season this year, said Dang Huy Cuong, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam.
In its plan for Vietnam’s power development from now until 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Trade suggests raising electricity prices by 44 percent as a solution to develop the power industry.
Under the plan, the total capacity of the national power system is to be quadrupled from the current 19,000MW to 75,000MW in a decade with the annual production reaching between 194 and 210 billion kWh.
At a press conference announcing the plan, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said to achieve these and other targets, the plan would need a total investment of VND929 trillion (US$48.8 billion).
Vuong said one way to mobilize this capital would be to increase electricity prices.
With the current power price of VND1,242 per kWh, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has been suffering from losses , he said. EVN’s loss was VND8.2 trillion ($409.2 million) last year and VND3.5 trillion in the first half of this year.
Vuong said these numbers don’t include the VND10 trillion that EVN owes the Vietnam National Coal Mineral Industries Group and the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group.
Prices would thus be increased to VND1,800 per kWH by 2020 to ensure EVN’s operation and help attract foreign investment to the local power industry, Vuong said.
As for whether prices would be raised this year, Vuong said the government would “consider a suitable time for price adjustment.”