Mekong Utility Watch

Vietnamese experts fault electricity monopoly for power cuts

October 10, 2008

Vietnamese economists and industrial power consumers have criticized Electricity of Vietnam, the only electricity provider in Vietnam, for its unannounced power cuts, which have caused heavy losses for businesses and disrupted people’s lives, Vietnam News Agency reports.

Power cuts lasting sometimes 12 hours a day for days at a time have occurred in many rural areas and several industrial zones, according to a report released by the country’s electricity regulator under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

 

Ho Nai Industrial Zone in Dong Nai province, and San Bay Water Plant in Da Nang city, two ‘important clients’ of Electricity of Vietnam, had their power cut for 11 consecutive hours on July 17, 2008.

Dr Vo Tri Thanh, Director of the International Integration Studies Department under the Central Institute for Economic Management, said the spontaneous electricity cuts without notice in advance should be viewed as blatant disrespect of consumers – a ‘product of the monopoly’.

Dr Le Dang Doanh, a senior economist, also said that the monopoly is now the problem in electricity supply. He has called on the government to compile a monopoly control law which would prevent unexpected power cuts, among other things.

Le Manh Hoan, Deputy General Director of Dinh Vu Steel Corporation, complained that the unexpected power cuts have caused his company heavy losses. Hoan said that it takes time to restart his workshops and the company has suffered many damages following the cuts.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, electricity output is not sufficient to meet demand. The total usable capacity of the whole system in May and June was 12,500 MW, which decreased to 10-11,000 MW in early July. Meanwhile, peak demand reached 13,500 MW on hot days and 12,500 MW on normal days. As a result, Electricity of Vietnam is lacking 20 to 30 million kilowatt-hours per day.

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