Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) has taken a first step towards ending its monopoly status by opening a pilot competitive generating market.

The project aims at boosting supply by encouraging a free power market. But it comes a day after the Finance Ministry said it might put back its planned introduction of market-based electricity prices until 2013, a delay of one year, due to fears that price rises could worsen inflation.

The market would be opened up in phases. Forty-eight power plants of more than 30 MW will join the competitive market in July, with 5 per cent of their power sold on an hourly cost-based price basis, and the rest paid by contract, said Hoang Quoc Vuong, Vice-minister of Trade and Industry.

The Ministry of Trade said any further moves towards a full competitive market will depend on the success of this pilot project.

For more market news click here