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EVN loses hold of local power market
Source: VNS - 8/17/2015 10:33:10 AM
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The Ministry of Industry and Trade on Thursday officially issued a decision approving a detailed design for the competitive electricity wholesale market, removing the Electricity of Viet Nam's (EVN's) monopoly.

According to Decision 8266/QD-BCT, all units owning 30-megawatt (MW) power plants and above will be allowed to join the market. Power generators producing less than 30MW of energy can also take part in the market if they meet the infrastructure demands.

Meanwhile, build-operate-transfer projects can join the market either directly or through a representative unit from the EVN.

Imported electricity and wind, solar and geothermal generators, as well as under-30MW hydropower plants, are not designed to be involved in the market.

EVN will not be the sole buyer; instead, five corporations will act as buyers: Northern, Southern and Central Region; Ha Noi; and HCM City Power Corporations.

These corporations will operate separately from EVN with regard to their production and business processes.

Buyers purchasing large amounts of power, exceeding 110kV, such as industrial parks, cement and steel factories, can directly connect to transmission substations releasing 220kV. New wholesale buyers can be established to join the market when they meet the regulations of the ministry and the Electricity Power Trading Company.

The roadmap for the establishment of the competitive wholesale electricity market covers four phases, with an initial pilot operation phase beginning in 2016. The market's official launch is slated for 2019.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam (ERAV), said power buyers could choose their suppliers when launching the market.

Tuan said power prices would see significant changes as enterprises would be able to buy electricity under the new market mechanism.

He added that regulations on distributing power to electricity companies would be implemented. This could prevent EVN's companies from continuing to buy electricity from their parent group rather than the market.

Consumers would benefit from the mechanism as the market would create the momentum for power corporations to reduce their costs and improve their services' quality.

In the competitive retail electricity market, scheduled for launch in 2021, individual customers will also choose their power suppliers.

As many as 60 power plants have joined the electricity market directly so far this year with a total capacity of 14,952MW, accounting for 40 per cent of the national power system, according to the ERAV.

By the end of July, the centre was operating 107 power plants with an installed capacity of 37,594MW and 750 transformer stations delivering 500/220/110kV with a total capacity of 99,914 mega-volt amperes.

This year, power output is expected to reach 163.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), up 12.1 per cent compared to 2014.

EVN said in the first seven months of the year, the group was expected to invest an estimated VND62.7 trillion (US$2.88 billion) into building a power system, similar to the same period last year.

Its power output in the seven-month period reached 93.4 billion kWh. Last month alone, the output was 14.72 billion kWh.

EVN said it had completed the connection of 18 constructions to the national power grid in July, including the Duyen Hai 550kV power transmission station and the 220kV Kon Tum power transmission station.

In the January-July period, it completed the connection of 111 constructions to the national power grid.
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