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Gas leak renders 2 Vietnam power plants temporarily inactive

Monday, March 17, 2014, 10:06 GMT+7
Gas leak renders 2 Vietnam power plants temporarily inactive
The 500KV Cai Lay - O Mon power grid, which transmits electricity from the Ca Mau plants

Two gas-fueled power plants based in the southernmost province of Ca Mau had to cease operations on Sunday due to a leak in their gas supply pipeline, the facilities’ operator Vietnam Electricity (EVN) announced late the same day.

The leak was detected in the PM3 gas supply system on Saturday but it was not until 5:00 pm on the following day that the two plants completely ran out of gas, EVN said in a statement.

Operation of the plants was thus temporarily halted, but the country’s power monopoly asserted it managed to keep the electricity supply for the south and southwestern regions stable during the incident.

The incident would cause a 1,500 MW loss for the southern power system.

EVN said it would mobilize electricity from the O Mon power plant, which is operated by fuel oil in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, to prevent power cuts and maintain the supply of electricity in these regions in the next few days.

It will also convert three to four gas-fueled turbines at the Ca Mau plants to oil-fueled machines.

The gas leak issue is expected to be fixed three days from yesterday evening, during which EVN may have to mobilize up to 900MW of oil-fueled electricity, it said.

The state-run power utility also called on consumers to save energy in order to reduce pressure on the national grid.

Mobilizing electricity from oil-fueled plants will be a burden for EVN as it is much costlier than the gas-fueled product, which is only VND1,037 a kWh compared to VND4,692 a kWh.

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