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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Northern districts to have electricity

Residents of four districts in Xieng Khuang province will be connected to the electricity grid this year, a provincial official said on Wednesday.

Phoukoud, Phaxay, Kham, and then Nonghet districts should be powered up by the end of the year.

“Phoukoud district will be connected first on January 18, because the lines are already in place,” said an official from the Xieng Khuang provincial branch of Electricite du Laos (EDL), Mr Visien Sisamak.

“We are very pleased to deliver electricity to the people here,” he said.

He added that EDL's Paek district branch station will be the connection point for the four districts to the national electricity supply.

The Governor of Kham district, Mr Oneta Phengvongsone, told Vientiane Times the district was about 60km from Paek district but this did not mean that no one had electricity.

Electricity was available, but was not sufficient to meet families' needs the whole time, he said.

At present, some people have access to electricity only from 7 to 11 pm.

“ The power we have now comes from a small hydropower station. Because the dam is small it cannot create sufficient energy for everyday us e all the time. In fact, it takes a whole day to build up and release enough energy needed for household use during the night,” Mr Oneta said.

Consequently, the district authorities advise people to install generators in their homes as this enables them to have electricity throughout the day so they can cook. “But it's up to them to do it,” he said.

Generators are easy to obtain in local markets; they are made in China and provide a ready source of power, he added.

At present, some families use generators to supplement the power provided by the dam. However, the drawback of generators is that families also have to buy fuel to run them.

There are 120 villages in Kham district, but not all of them are connected up to the hydropower supply. Only some people living in the main town have access to this power source, said Mr Oneta.

By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update January 11, 2007)

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