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Mar 30, 2024 / 21:43

No power shortage in 2024: Trade Ministry

The electricity sector will focus its resources on completing power generation projects and grid infrastructure.

Vietnam will not face an electricity shortage this year, as it did in 2023, and the supply will be secured in the coming years, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan at a Government press briefing held on March 29.

 Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan. Photo: Nhat Bac

Last year, the northern region experienced power shortages in the second half of May and early June, which had a significant impact on the production and business operations of enterprises. Some industrial zones at that time experienced scheduled power cuts 1-2 times a week.

During a meeting with the Prime Minister on March 19, representatives of foreign businesses deemed this issue as serious and urged the government to devise a plan to ensure electricity supply. Drawing lessons from last year's experience, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, along with the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), have revamped their electricity management plans. The ministry has also outlined supply plans and fuel sources for electricity generation, including specific strategies for peak months during the dry season to ensure adequate supply.

Earlier, at a seminar on March 19, EVN executives said that the corporation would increase the mobilization of high-priced electricity sources and renewables to avoid power shortages this year. Specifically, EVN plans to increase purchases of coal-fired electricity by about 145%, wind power by 25%, and solar power by 19% compared to last year.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's report, electricity generation and distribution grew by 11.97% in the first quarter, surpassing expectations. However, the widespread occurrence of intense heat due to the El Niño phenomenon may put pressure on the electricity supply in the coming months.

 EVN workers check on a grid station. Photo: EVN

To ensure a stable supply, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has indicated that the electricity sector will focus its resources on completing power generation projects and grid infrastructure, especially ensuring the timely completion of the 500kV Quang Trach - Pho Noi Line 3 project to supply electricity to the north.

The ministry is also monitoring electricity usage demand, weather patterns, and hydrology to respond accordingly to various scenarios in 2024, on a quarterly and monthly basis. Additionally, mechanisms to address difficulties and promote investment in renewable energy, as well as mechanisms for direct power purchase agreements (DPPAs), are being expedited by this agency.

The aim is to ensure electricity supply under all circumstances and prevent shortages.

Commenting on the Ministry of Industry and Trade's proposal to allow  businesses to autonomously set retail fuel prices in the draft new decree of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Thuy Hien, Deputy Head of the Domestic Market Department, stated that this regulation aims to bring domestic fuel prices "closer to the market."

"The State will provide a formula for calculating the common price, from which intermediary businesses can determine the maximum retail price. Retail prices to consumers will not exceed this ceiling," Hien said.

Regarding the Petroleum Price Stabilization Fund, representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade acknowledged that the fund has revealed many shortcomings in recent times,  which require changes in its management and operating rules.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan added that the ministry will gather opinions on whether to abolish or maintain the Petroleum Price Stabilization Fund before submitting it to the government for decision.