The Vietnamese government is predicting power shortages this year as demand continues to outstrip supply. Electricity of Vietnam has said it expects output to rise to 24.8 TWh this year, from 21.6 TWh in 1998. Even so, a shortfall of 500 kWh is likely.

New generating units expected on line this year will add 600 MWe to the country’s generating capacity, taking the aggregate installed capacity to 5700 MWe. New units are being built a Phu My 2-1 and in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. Two gas turbines are being installed at Can Tho and the first units at the Yali and Song Hingh hydropower plants will begin to generate power.

Hydropower provides 60 per cent of Vietnam’s electricity output, but is vulnerable to seasonal fluctuations. A lack of rain will reduce hydropower output this year. Many reservoirs hold less water than the same time last year. Rainfall has been 30-50 per cent lower than expected. The dry season in Vietnam runs from November to March and power shortages are common towards the end of this season.