Interview: Duong Quang Thanh

Which investment areas is EVN prioritising to meet the increasing demand for electricity?

DUONG QUANG THANH: Between 2011 and 2015 the added capacity of Vietnam was about 18,500 MW. During that time EVN began operation of 17 power projects with a total capacity of 9852 MW, which represents a 25% increase in the allocated capacity under the Master Plan VII. This was a significant contribution to Vietnam’s efforts to overcome power shortages that have occurred in the past. According to the adjusted Power Plan VII, the total generation capacity of EVN investments in 2016-30 will be 14,610 MW, spread across 21 power supply projects. By 2020 we are expecting to finalise an additional 14 projects with a combined capacity of 7185 MW.

EVN plans to implement new thermal-power plants, including several urgent projects in the southern regions to support electricity generation at the power stations in Vinh Tan and Duyen Hai. For the electricity transmission grid, most investments will be used to ensure better power transmission from the generating stations to the distribution centres in line with 2020 efficiency targets. The transmission grid target for 2020 is to meet the N-1 reliability standard, and to strengthen the north-south transmission capacity, particularly the 500-KV line which runs between Ha Tinh and Pleiku.

What is the outlook on the use of coal-fired power plants and other power sources in Vietnam?

THANH: The total capacity of coal-fired thermal power plants put into operation in 2016-30 under the Revised Master Plan VII accounts for approximately 46% of the nation’s total power supply. Because of Vietnam’s rising economic activity, the total capacity of coal-fired power plants is set to increase from 33.3% in 2015 to 43.1% in 2020 and to 48.7% in 2025. However, between 2025 and 2030 it is projected to decrease to 44.5%. As the data suggests, power plants fuelled by coal will play a key role in ensuring future energy supply until approximately 2025, but then usage will trend downward from 2030 onwards. Another key point highlighted in the Revised Master Plan VII is promoting renewable energy and increasing the proportion of electricity produced from renewable energy by 2030.

The 27,000-MW renewable energy target, which includes small hydro power, wind power, solar energy and biomass, will account for 21% of the national power supply. We anticipate that the total capacity of renewable energy sources put into operation between 2016 and 2030 will be above 25,000 MW, or about 26.2% of new installed capacity. This includes both a 6000-MW wind-generated power project and a 12,000-MW solar power project.

In what way is renewable energy considered in future investment priorities?

THANH: EVN plans to research and develop new power sources to contribute to the green power initiative throughout the country, evaluating pricing and finding the most optimal cost and work efficiency in order to advise the government on how to issue development plans for solar and renewable energy production. When talking about wind power projects, EVN has started using Official Development Assistance loans from the German government for phase one of the Phu Lac project, also in Binh Thuan. This project has a capacity of 24 MW, and has been operating since September 2016. In addition, we are preparing and arranging investments in the province of Ninh Thuan for the Loi Hai plant 1, which has a capacity of 30 MW. For solar power, EVN and its affiliates intends to invest in development plans for the central highlands, south-central and the southern regions of the country. Those locations have been prioritised by the parties due to the need for more power in those regions.