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Vietnam to hike power prices in 2019

A worker fixes electricity grid in Vietnam's southern Mekong delta city of Can Tho.
A worker fixes electricity grid in Vietnam’s southern Mekong delta city of Can Tho.

Vietnam is considering increasing power prices next year due to rising costs, a senior official said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Friday that national utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) might need to cover an incurred cost of VND20.73 trillion ($892.18 million) between 2018 and 2019.

This include incurred costs of VND5.48 trillion ($235.92 million) this year and projected costs of VND15.25 trillion ($668 million) next year, Hai said.

Incurred cost this year includes exchange rate differences in 2017 of VND3.07 trillion ($132.13 million), payment for water resources exploitation, VND502 billion ($21.6 million) and higher gas prices VND1.91 billion ($82.18 million).

Projected incurred costs next year are based on exchange rate differences this year of VND3.51 trillion ($151.28 million), exchange rate differences 2015 scheduled to be paid next year, VND734 billion ($31.58 million), payment for water resources exploitation, VND502 billion ($21.6 million), and increase in gas costs, VND10.5 trillion ($451.79 million).

Hai said EVN would review its electricity production costs last year in collaboration with government bodies to see if it was lower than current prices and would report to authorities for directions on adjusting next year’s prices.

In July, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had banned any increase in electricity prices and medical fees for the rest of the year, aiming to keep the inflation rate below 4 percent and achieve a GDP growth of 6.7 percent in 2018.

Inflation was at 3.57 percent in the first nine months of this year.

The most recent power price increase in Vietnam was last December, when it rose 6.08 percent to VND1,720.65 (currently 7.4 cents) per kWh.

EVN had a revenue of VND293.18 trillion ($12.61 billion) last year, with VND289.25 ($12.44 billion) from electricity sales, an increase of 8.94 percent from the previous year.