The group's deputy general director Dang Hoang An told an online meeting organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade that it would mobilise more energy sources to minimise power outages.

EVN has had to purchase a maximum volume of power from other sources including 67.8 billion kilowatt hours from China to lessen impacts of the power supply crunch in the January-September period, An told the meeting to review industrial production in the first three quarters. He explained that power supply was strained lately due to droughts, which reduced the water flow to reservoirs.

According to a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the last quarter of the year, some power plants are expected to start commissioning, such as the first power turbine of Son La Hydropower Plant, and the first turbines of Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant and Dong Nai 3 Hydropower Plant. The operation of such hydropower plants will help ease the power shortage in the country.

However, An noted that the power outages could still occur for around ten days this month as PetroVietnam has just announced a scheme to maintain the gas pipelines of Ca Mau Gas Power Complex over ten days. He said the most worrying problem for EVN is to cope with the water storage in the coming months, particularly during the dry season in the first half of next year. "EVN will work with the Ministry

of Agriculture and Rural Development in the coming days to seek measures for this matter," An said, referring to the conflict of storing water for power generation and pumping water for farming.

The Saigon Times Weekly - October 20, 2010