3 September 2002 – Ho Chi Minh City’s electricity network is set for a major overhaul costing an estimated V$9 993bn ($666m), following government approval of a plan to develop the network to meet the expected surge in demand for energy in the coming years.

The plan aims to enhance the city’s power network by upgrading the transmission system and installing more transformer stations. It also seeks to raise electricity generation to 11.8 TWh by 2005, and 22.9 TWh by 2010.

The plan also proposes underground power cables and advanced transformers to serve the city’s downtown and new urban areas. By 2010, 50 per cent of all power cables will be underground.

Other major upgrades include the 500 kV Phu My-Nha Be-Phu Lam transmission line, another 500kV line linking Nha Be and O Mon District in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta, and three transformer stations with a total capacity of 1,250 MVA.

Power authorities are hoping that the plan will help eradicate the city’s chronic electricity shortage that occurs during the dry season. This shortage is due to a surge in demand from industry, trades, and domestic users, all of which have combined to deplete hydro-electricity resources.

The project is to be largely government funded.