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EVN to still by electricity from China

EVN earlier this year announced that it planned to buy 1.8 billion kwh of electricity from China, though the domestic output is believed to be more than enough to satisfy demand.

2015 will be the last year Vietnam buys electricity from China under a 10-year contract signed between EVN and the Chinese exporter.

Vietnam began importing electricity from China 10 years ago when it lacked electricity for industrial development and household use. It bought 5.6 billion kwh in 2010, but imports have been decreasing since 2012, when it bought 3.2 billion kwn. The figure was 2.29 billion in 2014 and is expected at 1.8 billion kwh this year.

EVN has been repeatedly urged to stop buying electricity from China because the domestic output is high enough to satisfy domestic demand.

Meanwhile, the owners of domestically run power plants have condemned EVN for buying electricity from China at high prices instead of from domestic sources at lower prices.

The Lao Cai provincial power generators’ association pointed out that the electricity import price was once three times higher than the price at which EVN bought from domestic plants.

People hope EVN will stop importing electricity from China in 2015 under the long-term contract signed with China.

Dr. Tran Dinh Long, deputy chair of the Vietnam Electricity Association, said 2015 is a reasonable time for EVN to stop the contract.

He said with expected annual GDP growth rates, it could have stopped buying from China a little earlier, in 2014.

An analyst, agreeing with Long, said as the GDP growth has been slowing down, the forecast of serious electricity shortage will not occur. Vietnam now can churn out electricity volume big enough for its consumption.

“If the GDP growth rates were at 14-15 percent as predicted, Vietnam would lack electricity and EVN would have to gear up with its power generation projects instead of walking step by step like now,” he said.

As of the end of April, Vietnam had bought 0.56 billion kwh of electricity from China, or 31 percent of electricity volume it plans to buy this year. The first four months of the year were not the time when demand was the highest.

EVN’s deputy general director Dinh Quang Tri said EVN is considering buying electricity from different sources, including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, as a part of a project on linking ASEAN electricity grids.

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