HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam will generate more electricity from coal and oil this year to compensate for an expected drop in output from hydropower plants because of a lack of rain, the government said on Friday.
The Southeast Asian country, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, is increasingly reliant on climate-warming fossil fuels to support its growth.
Output from hydropower plants is estimated to be 2.67 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) below target this year, the government said in a statement on its website.
“Unfavorable weather conditions are forecast to result in lower-than-expected water flows to hydropower dams in 2020,” the government said.
The government will raise the output of coal-fired power plants by 1.9 billion kWh and oil-fired plants by 1.23 billion kWh compared with its previous plan, the statement said.
“The move is aimed at sufficiently supplying electricity for supporting socio-economic development,” the government said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said in July Vietnam will face severe power shortages from 2021 as the construction of new plants lags demand. Electricity consumption is expected to exceed supply by 6.6 billion kWh in 2021, and 15 billion kWh in 2023.
Vietnam’s coal imports, mostly from Australia and Indonesia, nearly doubled last year to 43.85 million tonnes, valued at $3.79 billion, the government’s customs data showed.
Reporting by Khanh Vu; editing by Barbara Lewis