Electricity excess worries power plant owners

Electricity consumption has dropped sharply because of Covid-19. As a result, power plants have had to cut generation capacity.

Electricity excess worries power plant owners

Nguyen Van Quyen, a farmer in Gia Lai, last year decided to install a rooftop solar power system. The electricity generated by the system was used for farming and sold to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). He saved VND50 million a month thanks to the system.

Everything had been going smoothly until the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in southern provinces and led to an electricity excess.

“We had to cut capacity by 50 percent in September and we have been informed that 70-73 percent of capacity will be cut the next month. The figure will be even higher, 75 percent, in November and December,” he said.

“Previously, I could collect VND240-250 million from electricity sale. But now I pocket VND80-90 million only. I wish to cut only 20 percent of capacity,” he said.

Some days ago, Ninh Thuan sent a dispatch to Ministry of Investment and Trade (MOIT), requesting the ministry to instruct relevant units to prioritize using the electricity of the project in order to help the investor cover production costs.

The investor is bearing transmission costs for the 500KV Thuan Nam transformer station. The group invested in the 500KV and 200KV transmission lines, but saw the capacity cut, up by 80 percent sometimes.

The electricity excess has also affected gas-fired power plants. Ten days ago, the Ca Mau People’s Committee asked MOIT to instruct EVN to increase the mobilization of electricity from Ca Mau 1&2.

In the first eight months of 2021, the gas supply capacity was 1.01 billion cubic meters, equal to the electricity output of 4.95 billion kwh. Meanwhile, only 3.49 billion kwh was used, or only 0.71 billion cubic meters of gas was consumed.

 

As a result, the indexes of the industry and construction sector in the province in H1 fell by 5.54 percent and the province’s GRDP was equal to 45.82 percent of the plan only.

However, analysts pointed out that capacity cutting is unavoidable.

The electricity consumption in HCM City in September and southern provinces is predicted to fall by 20 percent, while the 15 percent decrease has been predicted for the central region.

In the first half of September, the peak capacity in the entire country was 29,700MW and the output of the entire electricity system was 624.3 million kwh per day, which means that the electricity consumption was 24 percent lower than before social distancing, and 15 percent lower than the same period last year.

The total designed capacity of all electricity sources is 73,200MW, but the mobilized capacity is 28,200MW only in off-peak hours and 32,400MW in rush hours. 

Luong Bang

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