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Friday, February 21, 2020

Govt, Chinese developer sign PDA for 1,200 MW Floating Solar Power Project

To support its efforts to achieve green growth and alternative and clean energy development in Laos, the government is partnering with a Chinese company on a solar power project.
Following a successful feasibility study on a solar energy project with an installed capacity of 1,200MW on the surface of the Nam Ngum 1 dam reservoir, a China-based company, Hangzhou Safefound Technology Co., Ltd., and LAO-PPA Co., Ltd. have signed a Project Development Agreement (PDA) with the government and will proceed with the scheme.

The feasibility study was conducted with a focus on the nearby community of Phonsavath village in Longxan district, Xaysomboun province, after the project developer recognised the potential of this ideal geographical location with almost year-round sunlight.
The PDA was signed at the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vientiane on Wednesday, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the feasibility study in 2018.
The Project Development Agreement was signed by the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Mrs Khamchan Vongsaenboun, Chairman of the Hangzhou Safefound Technology Co., Ltd., Mr Rui Zhao, Managing Director of Lao PPA Co., Ltd., Mr Sengthongphachan Syvongxay, and Vice Chairman of Hangzhou Safefound Technology Co., Ltd., Mr Xiangming Fang.
Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Sinava Souphanouvong and Director of Xaysomboun province’s Planning and Investment Department Mr Chanthanome Vongsomchith signed the witness documents.
Deputy Governor of Xaysomboun province Mr Phoykham Houngbounyuang and Managing Director of Electricte du Laos (EDL) Mr Boun-oum Syvanpheng were also present at the signing ceremony.
The solar power project is a joint venture between the Lao government and Hangzhou Safefound Technology Co., Ltd. The government will hold a 20 percent share, while the company will own 80 percent of shares over a period of 25 years.
Covering a total area of 1,500 hectares, the solar power project is divided into different stages of development, depending on market demand and socio-economic development needs.
According to the development plan, a 300MW capacity solar power plant will be operational from late 2020 until 2023 with an annual power generation capacity of 37,852.86 GWh.
From 2023 to 2026, the plant’s capacity will be increased to 900MW and a transmission grid will be built from the project site to the Sengsavang Substation in Sengsavang Village, Thoulakhom district, Vientiane province.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Hangzhou Safefound Technology Co., Ltd. Chairman Mr Rui Zhao said his company has 15 years of experience in production chains for solar power supplies.
“For our project in Laos, we have successfully conducted a feasibility study on the project alongside completion of the Environment and Social Impact Assessment. We also expect to get all the work done in order to reach a Concession Agreement before construction of the project can begin within this year,” he said.   
After signing the PDA, the project developer will continue to implement other signed agreements within 24 months, including making a detailed plan of the project.
The company will proceed with development as planned to ensure it can enter into a Concession Agreement with the government, plan for the second and third phases of development, and seek foreign markets.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 21, 2020)

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Ministry calls for cut in energy usage during hot season

The Ministry of Energy and Mines is warning businesses and members of the public that it will be necessary to conserve electricity during times of peak load from March to June.
Offices, factories, businesses, irrigation plants, construction projects and all other entities are advised to use electricity sparingly between the hours of 1-11 pm.

This is because less power can be generated as reservoirs are only half full, according to an announcement issued by the ministry on February 10.
Electricite du Laos anticipates that electricity generation will not be sufficient to supply all areas during times of peak consumption, especially to factories in the capital and Vientiane province. To ensure enough electricity can be supplied to as many households and businesses as possible, the ministry is calling on everyone to minimise the use of energy.
Factories should cut electricity consumption by half during times of peak load.
Offices, businesses and individuals must all play their part and reduce their use of electricity by being aware of consumption.
This means switching off all devices and appliances when they are not needed, such as fans, television sets, lights and air conditioning.
Currently, the electricity grid reaches 95 percent of the country. EDL was established in 1961 and produces, manages, services and develops the provision of electricity in line with Party guidelines and state laws. It supplies electricity across Laos and to neighbouring countries and is an active contributor to the development of the economy, society and government.
EDL’s mission is ensure an adequate, universal, and inclusive supply of electricity for sale to support socio-economic development and enable expansion of the electricity grid, taking into account environmental considerations and the needs of the general public.
It complies with Party and government policies, especially those that seek to modernise industry, to create an enterprise that is efficient and capable of adjusting to the changing needs of the economy.

By Viengdavanh Banphahaksa
(Latest Update February 17, 2020)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

MRC discusses proposed Luang Prabang dam

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) held a forum last week for Lao authorities to hold talks with other Mekong nations before going ahead with construction of the Luang Prabang hydropower project.
Laos last year submitted the hydropower scheme – another dam in the lower Mekong basin – for the Prior Consultation process as required by the 1995 Mekong Agreement. The consultation process will continue until April.
At the 9th Mekong River Regional Stakeholder Forum, which was held from February 5 to 6 in Luang Prabang, the Lao government presented details of the hydropower plant to representatives of Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, civil society, academics, the private sector, and development partners, for comment.

In response to the Lao government’s engagement in the forum, representatives of the Mekong countries said they appreciated the government’s presentation of the facts for them to review.
They also wanted the government to address the potential impact of the Luang Prabang dam on downstream Mekong countries.
Lao government representatives said they valued the comments and suggestions from the countries concerned and forum participants, and that the government would consider their suggestions.
“We also want a good project that lasts,” a senior official from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Mr Vithounlabandish Thommabout, said as quoted in the MRC media release.
“We’re working closely with the developer and its international engineering teams to further improve the design and mitigation measures following the feasibility stage,” Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Dr Saynakhone Inthavong, said.
“The Lao government highly appreciates the comments from all stakeholders during this prior consultation process and is continually committed to addressing legitimate concerns.”
Proposed on the Mekong mainstream in Houygno village, Luang Prabang province, located about 25km from the town of Luang Prabang and 2,036km from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, the power plant will generate electricity mainly for sale to Thailand and Vietnam when commercial operation begins in 2027.
In addition to discussing the possible impacts of the dam, the forum considered the draft Basin Development Strategy for 2021-2030, a 10-year strategic direction for development planning within the region.
This aims to optimise Member Countries’ development plans while minimising the risks and effects on the environment.
The forum said the strategy was ambitious but considered it proactive in tackling the real basin-wide issues.
Among the many recommendations they made were increasing stakeholder engagement, strengthening cooperation among the four MRC Member Countries, and increasing an open and transparent sharing of information.
The strategy is expected to be ready in the middle of this year after going through several rounds of regional and national consultations.

By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
(Latest Update February 10, 2020)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Laos pushes for energy integration

Laos will push for the acceleration of energy integration under the Asean Power Grid (APG) to address the imbalance in the distribution of power-generating resources in the region.

The Energy Policy and Planning Department Director General Dr Daovong Phonekeo told Lao media during a senior official meeting in Vientiane yesterday to prepare for the 32nd Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) today.

The move comes after energy integration has been talked about for years but the project has not progressed, it is still largely as before.
Dr Daovong, who is also the senior official for Laos, said any integration was mainly conducted among neighbouring countries, not broadly and systematically connected to the wider Asean countries.

“We will take the opportunity of the 32nd Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting in Vientiane to push for the acceleration of energy integration in Asean,” he said.

The APG aimed to connect countries with surplus power generation capacity to those who face a deficit.
The intention is to link up power lines in the 10 Asean nations by 2020, but there is still a need to further harmonise business regulations, technical standards and systems that impact the interconnection of national power grids.

Laos will also propose to the Asean ministerial meeting an initiative to undertake a pilot project to explore cross border power trade from Laos to Singapore.

The scheme could serve as a pathfinder to further enhance multi-lateral electricity trading beyond neighbouring borders to support the realisation of the APG. The pilot project will involve the four Asean member states of Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Singapore has agreed in principle to purchase 100 MW of electricity from Laos under the pilot scheme, while Thailand and Malaysia have offered their support.

The Lao electricity transmission line is already connected with Thailand’s, while the Thai network is connected with Malaysia’s and the Malaysian transmission line is connected with Singapore.

AMEM is an Asean mechanism for strengthening energy cooperation to address major energy challenges and ensure a secure and reliable energy supply in the region.

Ministers and delegates from nine Asean member countries, six dialogue partners, Asean Secretariat, International Energy Agency, Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asean Centre for Energy, as well as other Asean agencies on energy, will attend the meeting.

Up to 300 participants are expected to attend the 32nd AMEM and its related meetings. These include Asean Plus Three (three dialogue partners – China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Energy Ministers Meeting and Asean Plus Six (China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand) Energy Ministers Meeting.

On Monday, senior officials discussed various documents at the preparatory meeting for the ministerial meeting today. The meeting also reviewed cooperation projects implemented over the past year.

The Asean officials also discussed cooperation projects for the next five years before holding a meeting with their counterparts from the plus three nations of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to discuss cooperation, notably on issues related to energy training and exchange lessons between Asean member countries and the plus three nations.
By Somsack Pongkhao 
(Latest Update
 September 23, 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hongsa Power completes to evacuate victims to new resettlement

By: Singkham
(KPL) More than 450 households with more than 2,300 people in five villages of Hongsa district, Sayaboury province were evacuated from the construction site of Hongsa lignite power house.
The evacuation started on March 2011 and fully completed last June, according to last week press release from the Hongsa Power Company Ltd.
Evacuees in Mai, Champa, Nasaykham, Nanongkham and Namaiyom have been relocated to a new resettlement equipping with a new house for each households with public facility, a school, a dispensary and farmlands.
Each new house have been built on 450 sq m and two hectares of farmland have been allocated to people affected project. A family with eight members up has been allocated two new houses.
Hongsa Power Company Ltd confirmed the villagers will graduate from poverty within three years.
Throughout the first three-year, the company will provide foods and create jobs for evacuees in order to bring more income to their families.
In addition, Hongsa Power Company Ltd also provided hygiene, healthcare and seasoning diseases prevention.
This is the first lignite thermal power plant in Laos with an installed generation capacity of 1,878 MW is expected to generate electricity in 2016 and its output will be sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and the Electricite du Laos (100 MW).