New power fees likely next month

Saturday, Sep 05, 2015 09:00

Technicians check electric meters in Gia Lai Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
HA NOI (VNS) — The new retail electric tariff will be submitted to the Government for consideration in October, said Dinh The Phuc, deputy head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam (ERAV).

Phuc said at a press conference, held in Ha Noi yesterday, that the Ministry of Industry and Trade required the ERAV calculating to reduce current power tariff levels from six to three or fewer. The ministry has also asked the Electricity of Viet Nam to recalculate the levels.

He added that EVN was instructed to organise conferences in the north, central and south regions to gather ideas from scientists, businesses and the public regarding the power tariff levels.

He noted that the devaluation of the Chinese yuan and the State Bank of Viet Nam's decision to increase the exchange rate by 1 per cent have had effects on businesses borrowing foreign currencies for their investments, as well as on those purchasing materials.

The Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) poured VND72.8 trillion ($3.23 billion) into its power projects, with disbursement of VND55.1 trillion ($2.45 billion) in the first eight months of the year.

Reports from EVN showed that these included such key national projects as Trung Son, Song Bung 2, expansion of Thac Mo hydropower plants, Duyen Hai 3, Vinh Tan 4 and Thai Binh Thermopower plants.

The group completed connection of 10 power grids in August, bringing the total grids in eight months to 121. In addition, it started construction on three new power grids of 500-220kV last month.

The country's power output in August reached 14.8 billion kWh, equivalent to the previous month. In the January-August period, the total power output was 108.2 billion kWh, posting a 13 per cent year-on-year increase.

The locally produced power for the period rose by 12 per cent from last year to 105.15 billion kWh. The hydropower source accounted for 35 per cent, thermo power accounted for 34 per cent, with the remaining coming from gas turbine and imported power.

The country was estimated to save 2,095 billion kWh in eight months, accounting for 2.23 per cent of the nation's electricity output. — VNS

Power generation companies, such as the Viet Nam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding (TKV) and EVN, calculated the effects from exchange rate differences and reported to the ministry.

"ERAV reviews the effects on retail prices and discusses them with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to decide whether to add TKV's losses to the electricity tariff," he added.

Further, Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai said any adjustment relating to power tariffs would be carefully reviewed, in co-operation with relevant agencies such as the MOF and the Ministry of Planning and Investment and submitted to the Prime Minister for consideration.

At a meeting of the ministry on Thursday, its three large conglomerates reported losses of trillions of dong as a result of foreign exchange differences.

Representatives from EVN, TKV and the Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) said foreign exchange differences have had great impacts on their production and trade activities.

Deputy Director General of TKV Vu Anh Tuan said foreign exchange differences affected the company's production and business, particularly in electricity production. The group has incurred losses of around VND1.2 trillion (US$53.3 million) as a result of exchange differences.

Deputy Director General of PVN Ninh Van Quynh said foreign exchange differences, coupled with oil price reductions, led to a sharp decrease in the group's revenues.

The group had borrowed a large amount of foreign currency to carry out large projects, so the adjustment of the exchange rate had a great impact on its production and business, he said.

PVN's total revenue in the past eight months of the year stood at VND383 trillion ($17.01 billion), equivalent to 53 per cent of its set target, he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of EVN Ngo Son Hai said the group suffered losses some ten times higher than those of TKV, but failed to report the exact amount of losses.

He said EVN would calculate the exact amount of losses to report to the ministry.

He proposed the Government have measures to support businesses, such as tax reductions and relaxations, as well as policies to help businesses tackle these difficulties. — VNS

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