Power blackouts in Vietnam have hit global manufacturing giants like Samsung and Foxconn, prompting some business chiefs to urge the country’s state utility to find a solution quickly.
The rolling power cuts have hit industrial parks in the country’s northern provinces where Taiwan’s Foxconn and South Korea’s Samsung have factories, as a surge in consumption amid a heatwave stretches the Southeast Asian nation’s power supply system.
The frequent and often unannounced power cuts prompted EuroCham, which represents European companies in the country, to send a letter on Monday to the industry and trade ministry urging quick measures to address the emergency.
Some industrial parks in the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang have been facing blackouts, said two local investment officials.
“We are working with EVN later today to discuss the situation and possible measures to limit the impacts,” one of the officials said, referring to the country’s state utility Electricity of Vietnam.
The provinces house production facilities of Samsung Electronics, Foxconn, Canon Inc and Luxshare, among others.
“Vietnam’s industry ministry should take urgent measures before the country’s reputation as a reliable global manufacturing hub is undermined,” Jean-Jacques Bouflet, deputy chairman of EuroCham Vietnam told Reuters on Monday, adding that the power cuts seriously disrupted industrial activities.
State media reports cited EVN’s northern unit as saying power to Canon’s factory in Bac Ninh will be cut from 8am local time on Monday until 5am on Tuesday, adding power to at least five industrial parks and several villages in the province will be partially or fully cut for several hours during the first days of this week.
The blackouts threaten efforts to avert an economic slowdown due to weak demand in key export markets, after first-quarter growth slipped to 3.3% from 5.9% in the fourth quarter.
The country has been turning off street lights and manufacturers switching operations to off-peak hours to keep the national power system running, with more than 11,000 companies having agreed to cut consumption where possible.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai admitted at a government meeting over the weekend that there had been “power shortages for households and businesses at certain locations at certain time”, adding that the difficulties would continue.
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