Mekong Utility Watch

Biggest hydro-electric plant cuts output

Viet Nam News
May 23, 1998

HA NOI-Viet Nam’s biggest hydroelectric power plant at Hoa Binh has been forced to reduce its output because water levels in its feeder reservoir have fallen below the 80m dead water mark.  This is the first time the Hoa Binh plant has had to cut its operations since it opened in 1988.

Ha Noi has suffered several power cuts since yesterday morning when the reservoir’s water level dropped from 80.25m to below 80m.

It follows several months of drought in the northern provinces.

Hoa Binh power plant director Vu Duc Quynh told the local press that the level had dipped below 80m half a day earlier than expected.

Meanwhile, Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) has begun its emergency distribution scheme to maintain regular supplies to Ha Noi, HCM City and other industrial centres throughout the country.

The Hoa Binh director said that they were still operating some of the plant’s eight turbines, although blades were vulnerable when the water level was so low.

The disruption of power output at Hoa Binh coincided with the breakdown of a turbine at the Pha Lai coal-fired plant, east of Ha Noi.

Repairs of Pha Lai’s turbine unit two on Thursday will not be completed before tomorrow at the earliest, which means that the national grid will suffer considerably reduced capacity.

EVN said Hoa Binh reservoir’s water level was expected to fall very quickly because rainfall in the surrounding area had been so light, with just seven to 19mm of rainfall recorded in Hoa Binh, Lai Chau and Son La provinces upstream of the Da River which runs into the reservoir.

The Central Weather Bureau said torrential rains were expected all over Viet Nam tomorrow and Monday as a result of an incoming north-easterly cold front.

Categories: Mekong Utility Watch

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