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Infrastructure / Electricity

Vietnam’s electricity system develops in the direction of exploiting specific resources typical in each region. With hydroelectricity available across the country, it has supplied the greatest amount of electricity since the end of the 1980s. Thermal electricity use coal to supply the North with coverage capacity. Thermal power plants using offshore gas have been built in the South since the end of the 1990s and have gradually become an important and stable source of power supply.


        There is also small amount of electricity generated by oil running thermal power plants. The total electricity capacity of Vietnam electricity system up to 2007 is 12,860 MW, in which hydroelectricity accounts for approximately 40%, and thermal electricity (including coal, FO oil, and gas turbine) 60%. The total electricity output generated in 2007 was 65, 25 billion kWh.

         Now, Vietnam electricity system has approximately 35 high capacity plants (more than 100 MW) and some low capacity ones, especially hydroelectricity plants. Changes in power generation proportion and form have remarkably reduced the dependence on hydroelectricity in the recent years.

The installation of the 500 KV transmission lines between the North and the South has considerably increased the potentiality of using optimal power sources upon seasons by combining generating sources and using demands. By the end of 2008, total length of transmission lines 500 KV, 220 KV, 110 KV re 3260 km, 5280 km, 11820 km respectively. Total number of transformer stations 500 KV, 220 KV, 110 KV are 18, 86, 535 and total installation capacity of transformer stations 500 KV, 220 KV, 110 KV are 7500, 13800 and 18900 MVA.


In recent years, electricity sector has been highly appreciated. Basically, it has met the demand for electricity, which has risen significantly over the last decade and maintained basic services to the customers as well as kept relatively low cost in comparison with that of the world. Electrification at rural area in the period from 1996 to 2004 was one of the most successful programs in the world. The number of households in rural areas using electricity has risen from 50% in 1996 to 88% in 2004 and to approximately 95% in 2007. The current distribution system has 125,000 km medium voltage lines, 220000 km low voltage lines and over 700 intermediary transformer stations with total capacity of 3500 MVA and 160000 distributing transformer stations with total capacity of more than 36000 MVA.


Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), a state- owned group of lengthwise concentration is responsible for developing, managing and operating state electricity assets. At the moment, EVN is managing almost all plant groups, except for some independent power plants (IPP) and some other building- operating- transferring power plants (BOT). In 2007, EVN was in control of 77% the total generated electricity and 79% the entire country's total electricity output. EVN is also the sole manager of the national electricity network in operating the electricity transmission system, and at the same time owning all 10 electricity companies which sell electricity from the national network to users.


The biggest electricity companies are Electricity company No. 1 (in the North), Electricity company No. 2 (in the South) and Electricity company No. 3 (in the Central area) and 4 companies managing the distribution system in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hai Phong and Dong Nai provinces. Other important members of EVN include 4 transmission companies, 4 consulting companies, a national power system moderated center and some companies producing equipment.


Although electricity sector has developed at the rate of 12.5% in average, it still cannot catch the demand of 20% annually. Vietnam government has encouraged investment in developing the electricity infrastructure in a proper way. In the coming time, a series of new plants will be put into operation; however, demands for electricity still remain a big challenge for Vietnam's development.





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