At a meeting between foreign manufacturers and the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) held in Ho Chi Minh City last week, overseas players expressed their concerns about the country’s power supply capacity in the future as they plan expansion.
Jean Piere Guill, general director of Aston Vietnam, said that a large number of U.S. investors are planning to land on Vietnam. He highly valued EVN’s efforts to ensure the power supply, but asked representatives from EVN, the sole power distributor in the country, if the firm had plans to increase the electricity supply.
Fabian Aguilar Leiton, director of Corporate Services at Intel Vietnam, tipped that the U.S. firm would scale up production of its plant located in the Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP) in Ho Chi Minh City if EVN ensured the power supply.
Florence Lomaglio, vice chair of the Green Growth Sector Committee of EuroCham Vietnam, said that the price of electricity was not a big issue. Foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) were willing to pay a 20% higher price for electricity, but with continuous supply.
Ms. Lomaglio cited a EuroCham poll with 115 FIEs in Vietnam as saying that up to 60% of them said their power expenses accounted for less than 5% of their operating costs. In addition, 62% of them were not satisfied with the present power supply. “This is a factor that hinders foreign investment in Vietnam,” she added.
In response, EVN Chairman Duong Quang Thanh pledged that the state-run firm would guarantee power supply. The power supply in Vietnam will increase 11%-12% in the 2016-2020 period, he affirmed.
EVN invested nearly 500 trillion dong ($22.5 billion) in developing power generation and transmission grid in the 2011-2015 period, 2.4 times that in the previous five years. Therefore, total power capacity has reached 38,800 MW by the end of this year.
In the coming five years, EVN will mobilize over 600 trillion dong ($26.7 billion) to invest in its power projects, Mr. Thanh added.