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Smaller hydroelectric plants should join competitive market

Small and medium-sized hydroelectric plants should be allowed to participate in the competitive power generation market, said president of the Viet Nam Energy Association Tran Viet Ngai.

Ngai made the comment at a forum on the development of small and medium hydroelectric plants held this morning by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Currently, only electric plants with capacity of more than 30 megawatt can join the competitive power generation market.

Ngai proposed that plants generating more than 10 megawatt should be eligible to join.

“Or else, it would be very difficult for small and medium-sized hydroelectric plants to find a buyer or they would be forced to sell electricity at a low price,” he said.

At the forum, experts and investors also discussed difficulties that small and medium-sized hydroelectric plants encountered, including capital shortage, high water resource use taxes and electricity prices.

Pham Thi Thu Hang, general secretary of VCCI, said the forum aimed to raise proposals to the Government for better development of small and medium-sized hydroelectric plants.

In 2011, small and medium-sized hydroelectric plants generated 7 per cent of the country’s total electricity output.

Viet Nam’s electricity market is planned to develop in three stages – a competitive power generation market (completed by 2014), a competitive wholesale market (2014-20) and a competitive retail market (after 2022).

The competitive power generation market was launched on July 1, in which electricity plants would sell their electricity to the Electric Power Trading Company (EPTC) under the management of State power firm Viet Nam Electricity (EVN).

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