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Vietnam may buy electricity from Laos to ease reliance on China

Staff Writer | August 30, 2016
Vietnam may import electricity from Laos to minimize the risks from relying on Chinese imports and to offset supply shortages caused by cutting off power sources which pollute the environment.
Vietnam electricity
Power   Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung:
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has urged the Ministry of Industry and Trade to submit the master plan to develop power generation sources by 2025, emphasizing that it is necessary to diversify the power supply sources and consider the supply from Laos.

Le Van Doanh from the Hanoi Vocational College of Technology said that Lao hydraulic power potential was high. The country is planning to build more hydropower plants in the time to come, and oversupply is anticipated.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s power demand is very high. In 2015-2016, Vietnam put out 150 billion kwh of electricity and it needs more than 200 billion kwh of electricity by 2020 to run factories and satisfy daily needs.

In order to generate more power, Vietnam has built some large coal thermopower plants while planning to import coal at high prices to run the plants.

Regarding hydropower development, Vietnam has built power plants on all large rivers like the Da and Yaly.

“Ninety percent of Lao electricity from hydropower plant is for sale. If Vietnam buys electricity from Laos, this will benefit both sides,” he said.

Agreeing with Doanh, Tran Dinh Long, deputy chair of the Vietnam Power Association, said Laos has supply exceeding demand and is likely to sell electricity to Vietnam.

He said if Vietnam buys electricity from Laos, it can avoid the burning of coal and build more coal power plants, which would help protect the environment.