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Southern region enters high season of power cuts

Southern region enters high season of power cuts

Tuesday, April 02, 2013, 19:00 GMT+7

With power consumption constantly rising, power cuts have repeatedly and unexpectedly occurred in Ho Chi Minh City and 21 other southern provinces and cities during the last days of March, as the southern region enters a critical season of power supply.

Locals in the Tan Phu Ward of District 7 say they suffered at least five power cuts between 9 pm and 9:30 pm last week.

“There were nights when the electricity went out twice,” said Tran Van Lam, a local.

The shortest cut lasted for 30 minutes, while the longest hit two hours, Lam said.

“As it is dry season, our family had to go out to the street for some fresh air because it was impossible to sleep in the extremely hot weather these days,” he added.

What annoyed the locals the most is that all of the said power cuts had not been announced in advance, he said.

Elsewhere in Tan Phu District, local residences also lamented the repeated power cuts over the last fortnight.

“The district power company said it was all because of incidents, but what kind of incidents could happen so frequently?” a local angrily said.

However, Nguyen Anh Vu, head of public relations at EVN HCMC, the city’s subunit of the Electricity Group of Vietnam, asserted that there is no power shortage leading to repeated power cuts.

“EVN HCMC confirms that supply is adequate for both household and production consumption,” he said firmly.

With regard to the public complaints, Vu said the power cuts were caused by “local overloading at their houses.”

“Due to the hot weather, people have had to use many power-consuming devices, which cause overloading and make their circuit breakers automatically switch off,” he said.

However, Tuoi Tre found that the overloading was on a much larger scale, as many areas in the city suffered electricity cuts that lasted up to 50 minutes from March 15 to 28.

“These incidents are out of our control,” an EVN HCMC representative said.

Firms forced to reduce consumption

The average power consumption in HCMC was some 50 million kWh a day in mid-March, but the figure rose to 55 - 57 million kWh during the last week of the month, according to EVN HCMC. Soaring consumption was also recorded in 21 neighboring provinces managed by the Southern Electricity Corporation.

As power supply must be prioritized for HCMC, the SEC has ordered its subsidiaries in the 21 localities to ask some 6,000 local power-consuming manufacturers to cut their electricity consumption to reduce overloads.

The businesses, mostly operating in the steel and cement-making sectors, have to reduce their power consumption by 10 to 15 percent, a rate SEC said will not affect their production procedures.

However, the manufacturers rejected the assertion.

“Cutting power consumption by 15 percent means a production decrease of 225,000 tons,” said Do Duy Thai from the Vietnam Steel Corporation, which accounts for 30 percent of the country’s total steel production.

Tuoi Tre





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