Periodical power cuts as a consequence of subsequent severe heat waves hitting the northern and central regions in late May and early June have thrown business production plans and people’s daily activities into chaos.

In Van Trung industrial park in Bac Giang province, employees were notified of a power cut from 07:30 a.m. on June 3 to 07:30 a.m. on June 4, meaning they were off work for 24 hours.

Many production lines were forced to either turn off or reduce the capacity of lighting systems by 50% to save energy. Some production lines were also encouraged to start work after 10 p.m. to avoid the peak load on power transmission and distribution network.

Furthermore, residential quarters in major cities such as Hanoi, Hai Phong, and Ha Long have scrambled to cope with periodical power cuts. As a result, big shopping malls, trading centres, and bookstores have become crowded with people, including children, seeking to avoid the heat.

The National Load Dispatch Centre (A0) said the operation of the national electricity system is currently ‘in critical condition’ as the peak load hit 34,059MW at midday on June 4 and 39,539 MW at the same time on June 3.

A0 therefore warned that Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the sole power company in the country, should devise solutions aimed at ensuring the safe operation of the national power system when demand for electricity at peak hours breaks all-time highs.

According to the Northern Power Corporation, almost all 12 large hydropower reservoirs throughout the northern region have experienced low water levels due to poor water flows.

The water levels of reservoirs of Son La, Lai Chau, Tuyen Quang, Hua Na, and Thac Ba hydro-electric power plants are on the cusp of reaching the dead level, and if the hydrological situation does not improve they will cease operation over the coming days.

Moreover, some coal-fired power plants in the system are also in the process of scaling down production capacity due to continuous high operation. They are prone to incidents if they operate in hot weather conditions for a long time.

More intense heat waves are expected to bake the northern and central regions throughout June as El Nino is said to be returning this summer.

The National Load Dispatch Centre warned that national power system in general and the northern power system in particular may not be able to meet the peak load in the dry season months this year and ahead in subsequent years.

The northern region alone is anticipated to face a power shortage of 8,000MW in June, 3,000MW more than EVN’s forecast.

A0 has therefore proposed increasing the maximum reduction in national power supply from 8,000MW to 15,000MW, including 8,100MW in the northern region, meaning more power cuts are expected over the coming days.

EVN has recommended that production lines, working offices, and residents pay attention to using electricity safely and economically, especially during peak hours at noon and in the evening.

Source: VOV