Don’t make electricity too expensive, PM says

By Anh Minh   February 3, 2023 | 03:57 pm PT
Don’t make electricity too expensive, PM says
Workers fix electricity cables in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
An electricity price hike proposed by the national power utility should be kept reasonable and in line with real Vietnamese incomes, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told authorities.

"The price of electricity in Vietnam cannot be the same as that of developed countries. If the price is too high, people, businesses and the economy will not be able to bear it," Chinh told a forum Friday.

"The Ministry of Industry and Trade must regulate prices without sudden changes to keep inflation under control and ensure that manufacturing growth speeds up."

The national utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has asked to increase retail prices after posting losses of VND31 trillion ($1.3 billion) last year. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is reviewing the proposal.

Vietnam’s retail electricity price currently stands at VND1,864.44 ($0.08) per kilowatt-hour. The price has been unchanged since March 2019.

Vietnam’s price is 50% lower than that of the Philippines, where electricity is more expensive than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Vietnamese prices are also lower than those in Indonesia and Thailand, according to energy data platform GlobalPetroPrices.

On the other hand, electricity costs more in Vietnam than it does in Laos, Russia, Bangladesh, India and Turkey.

PM Chinh also called on the power industry to review issues concerning the supply, transmission, distribution and usage of electricity. He urged decision makers to help Vietnam take advantage of the potential of wind and solar power.

The country should refrain from building droves of new power projects without being able to transmit newly produced energy across localities, he said.

Chinh added that the country’s Power Development Plan 8, which maps out Vietnam’s energy plans for the next decade, is still in the process of being finalized.

The quality of the plan is more important than the speed at which it’s completed, the PM concluded.

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