Vietnam to purchase more power from Laos

By Dat Nguyen   December 7, 2020 | 03:05 am PT
Vietnam to purchase more power from Laos
Workers fix electric cables in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
National utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has signed three memoranda to purchase power from Laotian companies amid expected energy shortages.

EVN will buy power from two hydropower plants and one coal-fired power plant in neighboring country Laos starting 2024, according to the memorandums of understanding signed Sunday.

The 84-megawatt Nam Yeuang hydropower plant and 300-megawatt Nam Phan coal-fired thermal power plant developed by Phongsubthavy Group are set to transmit electricity to Vietnam starting 2024 and 2025.

Another hydropower plant, Nam Neun 1, with a capacity of 124-megawatt and developed by Kong Sup Hydro Development of Nam Neun 1 and Nam Neun 3, will also start delivering power to Vietnam in those two years.

EVN in January signed five deals with two Laotian companies to purchase 1.5 billion kilowatt-hour of power each year in 2021 and 2022.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade had earlier warned of power shortages of 3.7 billion kWh in 2021 and nearly 10 billion kWh the following year, as construction of new thermal and gas-fired plants fall behind schedule.

2023 will be the most stressful with the shortage expected to be around 15 billion kWh. From then on, it will decrease, with shortages expected to drop to 7 billion kWh and 3.5 billion kWh in 2024 and 2025 respectively.

The ministry stated the only way out is to import more from Laos and China, although this is only a band-aid solution. In the long run, it would be necessary to speed up work on large power generation projects, it added.

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