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Friday, August 24, 2007

Energy production to drop

EDL hopes to increase the energy supply in affected areas by other means

Electricite du Laos (EDL) reported last week that electricity generation would decrease during the remainder of this year, compared to the planned output for this fiscal year.
Mr Khamphone Saignasane.

The company had planned to produce more than 1.5 billion GWh this year, but the real generation may only reach about 1.48 billion GWh, which is about 98.7 percent of the plan.

“A reduction is likely because there is not enough water to contribute to the power generation required for the many hydropower plants,” said the General Manager of EDL, Mr Khamphone Saignasane, at the first semester meeting of the company in Vientiane on Friday.

The plants include the country's main dams that have large reservoirs, such as Nam Ngum 1 and Nam Leuk in Vientiane province.

“There are about eight plants for which electricity generation is predicted to go down,” said the EDL Planning and Procurement Office Manager, Mr Daopheng Simmavongsouthivong, by telephone yesterday.

Over the next six months, when power generation is reduced, the purchase of electricity from neighbouring countries and local plants is expected to rise correspondingly.

The company may spend about 191 billion kip (over US$20 million) to buy about 450 million GWh from other countries.

“The spending will be over that planned by about 19 percent,” Mr Khamphone said.

The countries that typically sell the energy to Laos include Thailand , Vietnam and China .

It will also buy roughly 13 million GWh from local private power producers at a cost of about 5.7 billion kip (US$602,000), which will also represent an increase in the planned budget.

The plants selling the energy to EDL include the Theun Hinboun plant in Khamkeuth district, Borikhamxay province and the Houay Ho facility in Attapeu and Champassak province.

The company will not only increase the buying of energy, but also plans to increase the supply of electricity for local use and for export over the next six months.

It hopes to export electricity at a cost of over 143 billion kip (about US$15 million), representing an 18 percent increase in the predicted budget.

“We hope the figure will increase as the rains intensify to provide the water for the plants to generate the energy required for the next six months,” Mr Khamphone said.

EDL also plans to increase local sales, which are expected to generate about 665 billion kip – a figure that is also a little higher than normal, by about 0.5 percent.

Laos plans for at least 70 percent of the population to have access to electricity in 2010, and 90 percent in 2020.

Laos currently has 11 major and 40 smaller hydro power plants generating energy for both domestic and export markets. They have a combined installation capacity of more than 670MW and generate about 3.5 billion kWh per year, of which about 2.2 billion kWh is exported to Thailand .

By 2020, there will be 29 major hydroelectric power development schemes in place, with a total capacity of 8,657MW.

By Phonsavanh Vongsay
(Latest Update August 21, 2007)

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