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Vietnam power plants resume operation as gas leak fixed

The leaking valve on a pipeline that supplies gas for two thermal power plants in Ca Mau, Vietnam’s southernmost province, was repaired on Wednesday afternoon, enabling the facilities to go back into operation with gas supply resumed after a three-day hiatus.

“Malaysia-based Talisman, which operates the PM3-Ca Mau pipeline, has successfully handled the valve problem, and gas supply was resumed at 4:30 pm Wednesday,” state-run oil and gas group PetroVietnam, which owns the pipeline, said in a statement.

The gas leak was detected on Saturday but it was not until late afternoon on the following day when the gas-fueled Ca Mau 1 and Ca Mau 2 power plants ran out of the fuel.

Electricity Vietnam (EVN), a national power supplier, had to mobilize power from the fuel oil-fired O Mon power plant in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to maintain a stable supply for the southern and southwestern regions after the shutdown of the Ca Mau facilities.

Two gas-powered turbines at the Ca Mau plants were also converted into diesel oil-fired machines to add to the supply.

It was estimated that EVN had to mobilize around 15.2 million kWh of oil-fueled electricity per day, a cost overrun of VND70 billion (US$3.3 million).

The two Ca Mau power plants have a combined power capacity of 1,500 megawatts, accounting for 14.98 percent of the demand for the entire southern region.

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