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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                               8  September 2011

Vietnam faces power outages

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Power shortages are expected to hit the remaining months of the year, according to the general director of Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN), Pham Le Thanh.

One of the reasons is that the Nam Con Son Gas Pipeline Company plans a 15-day gas supply halt to its own pipeline and to the PM3 Ca Mau Gas Pipeline in the Ca Mau Gas – Electricity Complex for maintenance purposes.

The supply halt would reduce Ba Ria, Phu My and Nhon Trach thermo – electric plants' output by 20 percent and Ca Mau electric plants' output by 1,500 megawatt, causing shortages in southern provinces.

Additionally, hydroelectric plant output would decrease by around 4 billion kWh due to low water levels at some reservoirs in northern and central areas, including those at Tuyen Quang and Hoa Binh where water having to be preserved for the next dry season.

According to Thanh, EVN would need to mobilise sources such as oil and diesel fuel in generating over 3 billion kWh.

Despite efforts, a shortage of around 470 million kWh would still EVN is currently in the midst of financial difficulties, having to repay large sums of money to PetroVietnam and the Viet Nam National Coal, Mineral Industries Holding Corporation (Vinacomin).

The company has been urged to take out bank loans, alongside accepting Government support, in order to pay back its debts and purchase enough oil and diesel fuel for power generation, said deputy minister of Industry and Trade, Hoang Quoc Vuong.

"Power saving and efficiency are also extremely important," he emphasised.

To deal with potential shortages, PetroVietnam has been encouraged to shorten maintenance time on the Nam Con Son pipeline while EVN mobilise alternative resources for power supply, according to Minister Vu Huy Hoang.

According to EVN's deputy director, Duong Quang Thanh, total output last month reached more than 9.8 billion kWh, around 10 per cent higher over the same period last year. This month's target currently stands at around 9.4 billion kWh.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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