Duong Quang Thanh, deputy general director of the Vietnam’s state-owned power supplier Vietnam Electricity (EVN), has been designated the group’s chairman, replacing Pham Le Thanh, who is EVN’s general director.
Holding a doctoral degree in economics, the 53 year-old executive has been working for EVN for almost 20 years.
In his new position, Quang Thanh will have to deal with the group’s mission to put it on par with other power groups in the ASEAN region.
According to a report by the group, its productivity was only a tenth of Singapore’s electricity industry, three fourths of Malaysia’s and less than 50 per cent of Thailand’s.
Quang Thanh predicts that the domestic demand for electricity will continue to grow, while the group is facing the challenge of huge investment costs for power sources and grids.
The current unsolved problems within the group include financial imbalance, medium labour capacity, limited technology application and unprofessional customer service, the new chairman said.
He expects that his leadership will help EVN’s productivity catch up with Malaysia’s electricity company by 2020.
A monopoly for years, EVN received a huge investment capital of VND120 trillion ($5.58 billion) a year, but has made constant losses, leading to an accrued number of VND16.8 trillion ($0.78 billion) by 2014.
Over the years, the Vietnamese power giant has been criticised for making up for the losses by increasing electricity rates instead of improving its internal operation.
Thus, the group is studying to equitise its units, in order to form a competitive electricity supply market.
However, the equitisation process has moved relatively slow. The 31 equitised firms were small businesses, while EVN is still holding the entire capital of nine major corporations. The most expected equitisation events are of three Power Generation Corportations, also known as “the Gencos”, which will take place in 2016.