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Lacking electricity, EVN blames gas supply   2009-03-03 - VietNamNet

It is very likely that the country will lack 1.07bil kwh of electricity as three power plants, Ca Mau 1 and 2, and Nhon Trach, do not have enough gas to generate power. The three plants provide 14.3% of the total power output in the dry season.


The Electricity of Vietnam on March 2 sent a dispatch to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, warning about a possible shortage of electricity in the dry season if the gas supply to the three thermopower plants is inadequate.


EVN said that in October 2008, it informed to PetroVietnam and PV Power about the big volume of electricity it plans to mobilise from the three plants.


EVN plans to mobilise 4.727bil kwh from Ca Mau 1 and 2 in the first and second quarters of the year. On February 20, EVN registered an additional electricity volume of 117mil kwh it plans to mobilise from the two plants, raising the total electricity volume to be mobilised to 4.844bil kwh.


EVN has blamed short gas supply for  the electricity shortage

As for Nhon Trach 1, EVN initially planned to mobilise 1.23bil kwh for consumption during the six months in the dry season. However, in mid February, it was clear that only 1.018bil kwh could be mobilised for the dry season, and 2.42bil for the whole year.


As such, the three power plants will be able to provide 5.862bil kwh to the national grid in the dry season, or 14.3% of the total electricity output of the system, and to provide some 9.5bil kwh in the whole year of 2009, or 11.14% of the total output.


However, EVN has pointed out that the operation of the three power plants in the last two months has shown some problems, which may spoil the plan on power provisions in the dry season. The gas supply to the three power plants is not enough, thus making the electricity output lower than expected, while the plan on supplying gas to the plants has been changed repeatedly.


According to EVN, Ca Mau 1 and 2 Power plants need some 6.5mil cu m of gas a day. Meanwhile, in January, they were provided with 3.78mil cu m of gas only. The plants got only 2.3mil cu m of gas in eight days of January, enough to run at 30% of capacity, and 3mil cu m the other eight days, enough for 50% of capacity.


In February, the average volume of gas provided to the three power plants was 4.06mil cu m a day only.


As a result, the power plants could only provide 379mil kwh of the planned 801mil kwh in January (fulfilling 47% of the plan), and 549.4mil kwh out of 602.5mil kwh (91%).


EVN has been informed that in March, there will be 15 days when the gas volume will be at 1.75-2mil cu m a day, and the electricity output will be 8.6mil cu m a day. At the end of March and April, the volume of gas to be provided will be at 4.5mil cu m a day. In May, there will be 13 days when Ca Mau plant complex will see its gas supply cut.


Similarly, Nhon Trach 1 in February could supply 118.7mil kwh, lower by 209.7mil kwh than planned.


The gas shortage is believed will last the next four months. EVN planned to mobilise 4.34bil kwh in March-June, including 3.44bil kwh from Ca Mau 1 and 2. However, EVN has been informed that the gas volume to be provided to Ca Mau 1 and 2 will only be enough to churn out 2.37bil kwh, 1.07bil kwh lower than planned.


EVN has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to release a document, requesting PetroVietnam to take drastic measures to ensure enough gas for the power plants.


EVN has also said that lacking gas to generate power was not the only problem that might cause electricity shortages. In the last two months, 13 problems occurred with power generating units at Ca Mau 1 and 2, including serious ones which took many days to fix.


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