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HCMC businesses against four-day power cut plan   2009-07-17 - Thanh Nien, Agencies

The Hiep Phuoc Port at the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park  
Businesses operating at the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park in Ho Chi Minh City have protested a four-day power cut scheduled for later this month, saying it could cause them total losses of US$9 million.


Sole electricity provider Hiep Phuoc Power Company last week announced it would cut power at the industrial park in Nha Be District from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 25, 26 and 27 and on the morning of July 28. The power cut is to facilitate construction of a 220 kilovolt line in the district by Electricity of Vietnam, the company said.

Businesses at the industrial park on Thursday proposed the city government ask the Hiep Phuoc Power Company to compensate for any losses caused by the power cut. They also requested the government assess a power backup system that the company has refused to run on safety grounds.

Nguyen Xuan Han, general director of Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park, said Wednesday he had received more than 50 complaints from businesses who said the power cut would delay their construction projects, halt production and damage waste treatment facilities.

Le Huu Sang, production manager of construction materials producer Saint-Gobain, said his company needs a stable power supply for manufacturing and the power cut would mean a loss of up to $120,000.

Nguyen Hoang Vu of the Hai Thanh Food Company said there are more than 90 businesses operating inside the zone and the losses incurred could total $9 million.

Environment manager for the industrial park Tran Anh Tich Lan warned the long power cut would compromise the zone’s waste treatment plant as all microorganisms needed for wastewater treatment would be dead.

“Untreated wastewater from leather tanning and food processing companies will pollute the environment,” Lan said.

Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, deputy general director of Saigon Premier Container Terminal Company, said the power cut would delay construction of her company’s $366 million port project.

The Saigon Premier Container Terminal is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of this year and at this point, every second counts, Quynh said, noting the power cut would also mean a loss of $500,000.

Many businesses said Hiep Phuoc Power Company has to take responsibility for not having any feasible power backup plans to solve the problem.

Tran Thien Tu, chairman of the Association of Businesses in Industrial Parks and Economic Zones, said the company would have to compensate their customers for the power cut.

“The company can’t blame it on the national project (the 220 kilovolt line) and force businesses to suffer the losses by themselves,” he said.

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