Vietnam plans to raise power tariffs by 15.28% to aid in attracting investments in new power plants.

The approved hike in prices will be effective from next month and follow price hikes of about 7% in 2010.

Ministry of Industry and Trade energy department head Ta Van Huong told VietNam News that the increase would help the industry to mobilise investment for new power plants to meet the country’s burgeoning power demands.

Electricity prices in Vietnam are lower than those in other countries in the region, while power demand is expected to increase by at least 16% in 2011, according to the government.

At present, the country is dependent on hydropower for one-third of the country’s power needs and is trying to diversify its power sources to avert supply shortage during droughts.