Vietnam Considers Importing Electricity From Laos to Tackle Power Shortage

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Vietnam Electricity Import From Laos to Tackle Power Shortages
FILE: This image is used only for representational purpose (photo: BNN Breaking)

In response to the persistent power shortages in Northern Vietnam, the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) has put forth a proposal to import wind power from Laos. Currently, all domestic electricity is concentrated in southern Vietnam, leaving the north in dire need of an increased power supply.

According to Saigon Giai Phong, on 21 December, EVN called on Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to review and present a proposal to the Prime Minister for importing electricity from the Trường Sơn Wind Power Plant in Bolikhamxay Province, Laos. The proposal includes plans for additional transmission lines to facilitate the energy transfer.

The MoIT has acknowledged receiving the document and is now seeking feedback from relevant ministries and localities. EVN’s proposal suggests a purchase price of USD 6.95 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from the Trường Sơn Wind Power Plant, with an anticipated power output of 250 MW. 

To meet the project completion targets in 2025, the Vietnam Laos Energy Investment and Development Corporation, the project’s investor, has proposed selling electricity to Vietnam and investing in the grid connection using project funds.

While the decision aligns with bilateral agreements and the National Power Development Plan VIII, it has sparked debates on the cost and necessity of importing electricity. Some argue that Vietnam possesses untapped domestic wind energy potential, making importation unnecessary. Nevertheless, proponents argue that importing electricity is crucial to meeting the rising power demands in the northern region.

The National Power Development Plan VIII envisions a long-term strategy for Vietnam, aiming to import around 5,000MW from Laos by 2030, with a potential increase to 8,000MW.

Projections for 2050 anticipate a substantial surge to 11,000MW, generating an impressive 37 billion kWh of electricity. Notably, the cost-effectiveness of imported electricity from Laos stands out when compared to domestically produced wind power.