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HANOI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - State utility group Vietnam Electricity (EVN) said on Monday it would raise the average retail price of power by 5 percent to offset rising costs incurred since last year due to higher prices for diesel used in power plants.
The average price will be raised on Dec. 20 to 1,304 dong (6.2 U.S. cent) per kilowatt hour (kwh), excluding value-added tax, from 1,242 dong per kwh now, EVN said in a statement.
Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said late last month retail electricity prices would be increased by more than 10 percent in 2012, state media reported.
In 2010, dry conditions affected hydro-power generation, forcing power plants to use high-priced diesel to ensure power supply, the report cited EVN as saying.
The higher price is also aimed at encouraging more investment in the power sector and supporting measures to conserve energy, it said.
Power output in 2012 would rise 11.72 percent from this year to 121.7 billion kwh, including the electricity generated by EVN plants and purchases from domestic and foreign sources, state-run Business Forum newspaper reported on Monday, quoting an EVN executive. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Alan Raybould)