A part of Quang Ninh Province that borders China will use electricity entirely provided by a Chinese company in Guangxi Province this summer.
Starting Wednesday, Mong Cai Town and Hai Ha District in Quang Ninh will switch to using electricity provided by Guangxi Power Grid Co., Ltd.
As per an agreement between Northern Power Corporation under state-owned Vietnam Electricity (EVN) and Guangxi power grid, Quang Ninh’s town and district will use power provided by the China firm until July.
Guangxi Power Grid will sell electricity via a 110kV transmission line. It is not clear how much electricity Vietnam will buy from China, and the cost of the deal has not been revealed.
Vietnam bought electricity from China several times between 2005 and 2016. As estimated by EVN, the northern region is at risk of lacking 1,600-4,900 megawatts of electricity in May and June when hydropower production will be hit by the hot, dry weather.
Meanwhile, demand is expected to increase by 15% year-on-year between now and July following heat waves.
The north typically consumes more power than the southern and central regions during summer, but few new power plants have been built there in recent years. Most of the new projects are in the central and southern regions, but technical reasons prevent them from transmitting a large amount of power to the north.
Water levels in northern hydropower plants are lower than normal, and 18 large dams were less than 20% full towards the end of April.
A coal shortage also poses challenges. EVN’s coal-fired power plants are reporting that their target production faces a 1.3-million-ton shortfall.
The two main coal suppliers, Vinacomin and Dong Bac, can only provide 46 million tons this year, 11.5% less than required.