Thu, Feb 17, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Vietnam calls for fairness in rolling power blackouts

Bloomberg

The Vietnamese government told regional authorities to handle rolling power blackouts in an “equitable” fashion as it said the Thua Thien Hue province would experience electricity cuts starting next month.

“Politically or socially important” events should be given priority in receiving power during the current dry season, the government said in a statement on its Web site yesterday, without providing clarification of what events meet those criteria.

Provincial authorities should approve a list of users that can be exempt from power cuts, the statement said.

Thua Thien Hue Power Co plans to cut power in the central province by 9.3 percent next month and in April, by 21.1 percent in May and 13.7 percent in June, the government said.

Priority will be given to industrial production and agricultural irrigation, it said.

Blackouts were set to affect some of the country’s 91 million people from Tuesday, Vietnam News reported last Thursday.

Record-low levels at water reservoirs are cutting hydropower production, state-run Electricity of Vietnam said yesterday.

Rolling outages may inconvenience overseas manufacturers using Vietnam as an export base.

Severe power cuts “would make it very difficult for me to explain to the board that we want to stay here and want to develop the company here,” Boy Schallert, managing director of Aalborg Industries A/S in the northern city of Haiphong, said by telephone this week.

The company has no imminent plans to leave the country, he said.

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