Vietnam has decided to import an additional 200 MW of electricity from Laos next year amid possible power shortages.
The country’s decision comes amid concerns that it may suffer energy shortages from 2020.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade estimated that the country would experience a shortage of 3.7 billion kWh in 2021, which will reach its peak of 15 billion kWh in 2023 before halving each year and falling to 3.5 billion kWh in 2025.
VnExpress quoted unnamed officials at the ministry as saying that the only short-term solution to overcome the power shortage is to import from Laos.
The officials cited speeding up work on major power projects as a long-term solution.
In June, Laos agreed to sell 5,000 MW of electricity to Vietnam, in addition to exports of more than 300 MW.
It was expected to supply 1,000 MW by 2020, and both countries were hoping to increase Lao electricity exports to Vietnam to 3,000 MW by 2025 and to more than 5,000 MW by 2030.
Additionally, Laos and Vietnam agreed in August to develop energy and mining projects as well as electricity trading contracts.
Speaking at the 40th Meeting of the Laos-Vietnam Inter-governmental Committee in Vietnam in 2019, Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath asked the visiting Vietnamese trade minister to consider the possibility of purchasing power from thermal power projects in Khammouane Province, as well as a wind power project in Sekong Province.
In response, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh, said Vietnam was willing to cooperate with the Lao side to further boost electricity trade projects.