Load shedding worsens plight of suburbs in sweltering Hanoi

By Anh Minh, Gia Chinh   June 2, 2023 | 10:32 pm PT
Load shedding worsens plight of suburbs in sweltering Hanoi
A furniture factory in Hanoi's Chuong My District was shut down on June 3, 2023 due to power cuts. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
A surge in demand amid declining hydropower production has forced Vietnam Electricity to cut power supply to a Hanoi suburb to ensure system safety.

With consumption in May rising by 22.5% from April to 75.4 million kilowatt-hours in Hanoi, there has been load shedding in some areas of Chuong My District from 8 a.m. to midnight.

Hydropower is the main source of electricity in the north, but in eight dams water levels have dropped to near the minimum levels required for power production.

High temperatures and non-stop operations have forced six coal-fired power plants to experience issues, which would reduce power supply in the coming days.

"We are trying to maintain power supply but hope for consumers’ understanding," EVN said in a notice, adding that offices should reduce power consumption between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. every day.

The brownouts are causing people and businesses to suffer amid the scorching weather.

Even as temperatures rose to 40 degrees Celsius, Thanh, who lives in the suburban district of Thach That, said there was a power outage from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. last Friday.

"Children are staying at home for the summer break, and this is hard for them."

People in Chuong My District said there is daily load shedding from 3 p.m. to 11.30 p.m, and there are also cuts in other districts such as Hoai Duc and Thanh Oai.

Unscheduled cuts are not helping improve matters.

A furniture factory in Chuong My District started work at 7 a.m. Friday and urged workers to speed up things since power was scheduled to be cut at noon. But the power went at 9 a.m. and work had to stop.

The factory owner said he had to cancel four orders worth over VND800 million as a result, and his 30 workers also received less pay.

Ten kilometers away in Thanh Oai District, a glass and aluminum factory owned by Pham The Ky also had to shut down at 9 a.m. In Hoai Duc District, seafood seller Trang suffered a 10-hour power cut from 10 a.m., and, unable to keep her stocks chilled, she had to sell them at lower prices.

EVN at first forecast that if water levels remain low, the north would a power shortage of 1,600-4,900 megawatts in May and June.

A few days later it said the shortfall would in fact be 8,000 MW.

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