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EVN hydro plants see profit surge

According to the third-quarter financial statement of Thac Ba Hydropower Joint Stock Company, the plant made a profit after tax of VND97.7 billion (US$4.66 million) in the first nine months of 2012, representing an increase of more than four times the figure recorded over the same period in 2011.

In the third quarter alone, the company’s profit after tax reached VND59.06 billion ($2.82 million), seven times higher than at the same stage the previous year.

The Vinh Son-Song Hinh Hydropower Joint Stock Company’s total revenue last year was estimated at VND567.1 billion ($27 million) with profit after tax at VND360.4 billion ($17.162 million).

In addition to those plants, Thac Mo Hydropower Company also celebrated profits at the end of the third quarter. To mid October last year, the plant’s output hit 751 million kWh, reaching its goal for the entire year.

The EVN has not yet announced its profit for 2012. However, at a recent workshop held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, EVN’s deputy director Dinh Quang Tri estimated the profit at VND3.5-4 trillion ($166.7-190.5 million) from its hydroelectricity business last year, adding that EVN also expected overall profits this year. He said this return would be spent on covering the losses incurred by the company in previous years.

During 2012, electricity prices were increased by about 5 per cent in July and then again in December.

Increases in power have drawn a mixed response from the public.

Economist Ngo Tri Long was reported by Tien Phong newspaper as saying the rises in power should be reviewed because power prices were increasing and EVN and many of its hydropower plants earned profits last year.

He argued that the input cost of EVN should be checked to see whether it increased during the year or not, as power increases would be a burden on enterprises and residents living in economically difficult conditions.

According to a representative from the Viet Nam Energy Association, EVN should reduce the rate of electricity losses, pointing out that if the rate was reduced by 1 per cent, thousands of Viet Nam dong would be saved without increasing prices.

In the latest power price rise, the average price was changed from VND1,369 per kWh to VND1,437 per kWh.

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