Total power usage of consumers in the south is expected to soar 15.1 percent compared to a year earlier, according to a report by Electricity Vietnam’s Southern Power Corporation (EVN SPC).

Demand for power is estimated to begin to rise in March and remain high until June, while supply is lagging behind, the report said.

Two new turbines of the coal-fueled Vinh Tan 2 power plant, based in the coastal province of Binh Thuan, will join the southern power grid this year, but it is still not enough to meet increasing demands, according to EVN SPC.

The company thus had to mobilize power from the central and northern regions, it said.

EVN SPC has also asked the power utilities in localities including Binh Thuan, Binh Duong, Ba Ria –Vung Tau, Dong Nai, and Long An to work with businesses with large power consumptions in their areas on solutions to maintain supply and avoid power cuts, according to its deputy CEO Pham Ngoc Le.

On Monday, Electricity Vietnam (EVN), a national power supplier, provided further information regarding the leaking valve on a gas pipeline that supplies gas for its two power plants in Ca Mau.

“The valve problem was detected on the PM3-Ca Mau pipeline, which is operated by Malaysia-based Talisman,” EVN said in a statement.

The two plants in the southernmost province were shut down one day after the incident was discovered on Saturday.

EVN said it is sourcing power from the fuel oil-fired O Mon power plant in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to maintain stable supply for the southern and southwestern regions.

It already had two gas-powered turbines at the Ca Mau facilities converted into diesel oil-fired machines to add to the supply.

EVN is expected to mobilize around 15.2 million kWh of oil-fueled electricity every day, at a daily cost of VND70 billion (US$3.3 million).

The two Ca Mau power plants have a combined power capacity of 1,500 megawatts, accounting for 14.98 percent of the demand for the entire southern region.

Tuoi Tre News - March 18, 2014