Myriad weather phenomena confront northern power supplier

08:53 | 22/09/2017 Energy

(VEN) - The Northern Power Corporation under Vietnam Electricity (EVNNPC) is probably the most challenged power supplier in Vietnam due to the impact of adverse weather conditions on its operations.

myriad weather phenomena confront northern power supplier

Complex climate

Ho Manh Tuan, deputy general director of EVNNPC, said the corporation manages power grids in complex terrain, with about two-thirds being forest area, and along more than 830km of coastline. Therefore, its power grid is subjected to the greatest impact of extreme weather, including storms, floods, landslides, cyclones, hail, earthquakes, heat, humidity, snow and ice.

According to statistics compiled by the EVNNPC’s Safety Committee, the total damages and costs of remediation of power companies in Son La, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Phu Tho, Lai Chau, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Yen Bai and Ha Giang provinces reached an estimated VND25 billion.

Specifically, in early August, floods in Son La Province’s Muong La District and Yen Bai Province’s Mu Cang Chai District caused severe damage to the power grid. Floods swept away 27 low-tension poles and 60 electricity meters in Mu Cang Chai District, while flash floods and landslides broke three medium-voltage and 50 low-tension poles, five kilometers of power lines, and 33 sets of power porcelain. As many as 7,788 customers were subject to power cuts with estimated damages of about VND20 billion.

Among the 27 northern provinces, Lao Cai suffers from natural disasters every year. Tran Van Bang, deputy director of the Lao Cai Power Company, said heavy rains in July and August caused landslides in the districts of Muong Khuong, Bac Ha and Sa Pa, with losses and damage to property totaling nearly VND2.8 billion.

myriad weather phenomena confront northern power supplier
Nguyen Ky Quang, director of the Sa Pa Hydropower Co. Ltd

Quick recovery

In order to focus on disaster prevention, EVNNPC has intensified its inspection of defects detected in operation of the power grid. EVNNPC and other units annually strengthen the Steering Committee for Disaster Preparedness and Search and Rescue in order to adapt to the forecasts and develop prevention scenarios and measures to ensure power supplies during disasters.

EVNNPC requires member units to closely follow the directives issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and EVN and ensure the safety of power consumers and equipment. Mai Quang Hung, head of EVNNPC’s Safety Department, said all member units under the EVNNPC conducted disaster preparedness and search and rescue drills by May 2017.

When flash floods occurred in Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Yen Bai and Son La provinces in the recent storm, the Steering Committee for Disaster Preparedness and Search and Rescue closely monitored the situation to ensure prompt handling of problems. In particular, it mobilized staff to restore damaged power lines in the shortest time in order to stabilize people’s daily life and enable trade and production activities.

Nguyen Ky Quang, director of the Sa Pa Hydropower Co. Ltd, said power projects must be carefully planned to prevent the effects of natural disasters, with the optimal option of bringing power lines underground to minimize damage and ensure people’s safety.

Given that climate change and natural disasters can happen at any time, EVNNPC needs to adopt appropriate solutions to timely adapt to the situation. The safety of people will be a top priority. The power sector must ensure real safety for people before conducting power supplies.

Lan Anh