Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018
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ECONOMYINDUSTRY

Vietnam may face power price hike in 2019

Updated at Tuesday, 04 Dec 2018, 14:21
The Hanoitimes - Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said at the government regular meeting on December 3 that his ministry has drafted four scenarios in building power price schemes in 2019.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has said that it will report power price schemes to the government’s Price Management Committee by the end of this month with the possibility of price hike in 2019. 
 
Deputy Minister of Trade Do Thang Hai at a government meeting. Photo: Vietnamnet
Deputy Minister of Trade Do Thang Hai at a government meeting. Photo: Vietnamnet
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said at the government regular meeting on December 3 that the ministry has drafted four scenarios including high power consumption, normal consumption, enough water for hydropower plants, and water shortage in building power price schemes. 

Supporting a possible price hike, Hai said that Vietnam Electricity (EVN) under the the ministry’s umbrella suffered a loss of VND2.2 trillion (US$96.4 million) in 2017. 

He said the ministry will work out the power prices taking into consideration the impacts that the power price hike may cause to economic growth, gross domestic product (GDP), consumer price index (CPI), and large power consumers as well. 

According to him, the power output for 2019 would range from 242 to 243.5 billion kWh and the ministry might mobilize additional 2-7 billion kWh from diesel-generated sources with high prices. But the top mission is to ensure sufficient electricity for 2019, he affirmed. 

Relating to the issue, media has repeatedly mentioned the possibility of power shortage in 2019 after EVN claimed that its power plants were working below maximum capacity due to insufficient water and thin coal supply. 

Meanwhile, Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation (Vinacomin) blamed EVN for signing short-term purchasing contracts which are leaving Vinacomin passive in supplying.

 
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the government meeting on Dec 3. Photo: Chinhphu.vn
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the government meeting on Dec 3. Photo: Chinhphu.vn
At the meeting on December 3, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc required the MOIT to ensure enough electricity for socio-economic development from now through 2025. The PM said that the power shortage would cause huge losses to the country and affect different sectors. He threatened to dismiss some heads should the power shortage happen. 

Under the government’s regulations, EVN is allowed to raise the power prices between 3% and less than 5% each time every six months once it suffers a rise from 5% in the input cost. 

The latest power price hike was made in December 2017. The average power price is VND1,720 (US7.4 cent)/kWh. 
Linh Pham
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