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National electricity regulation director suspended amid probe on widespread blackouts

The director of the National Load Dispatch Center was suspended starting Wednesday pending an investigation regarding widespread power outages in northern Vietnam.

National electricity regulation director suspended amid probe on widespread blackouts

Director Nguyen Duc Ninh was suspended per a decision signed by general director of Vietnam Electricity (EVN) Tran Dinh Nhan.

The National Load Dispatch Center is the operating unit for the distribution of electricity and is tasked with making sure the power system remains safe and stable. The center is also responsible for operating power plants and regulating reservoirs.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has launched an investigation on EVN starting June 10 regarding its power supply and management from January 2021 to June 2023. The investigation was launched as instructed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Industry minister Nguyen Hong Dien has requested an inspection on the supply of fuels for power plants, the operation of power systems, the distribution of electricity and the utilization of renewable energy, among other issues.

Since earlier this month, Hanoi and other northern Vietnam localities have been suffering from frequent power outages.

Average power demand throughout the country reached around 820 million kWh a day in May, an increase of over 20% from April.

In the capital alone, average power demand in May was over 75.4 million kWh, a 22.5% increase from April. By June 8, average power demand in the city reached over 85.6 million kWh.

Hydropower, one of two main power sources for northern Vietnam, is in decline due to droughts leading to dry reservoirs. Certain thermal power plants also faced issues due to being operated at high capacity.

The industry ministry said northern Vietnam would lack 30.9-50.8 million kWh a day, and faces risks of energy shortage at nearly every hour of the day.

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