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Friday, October 31, 2008

Nam Theun 2 to produce electricity for export to Thailand by late 2009

(KPL) The Nam Theun 2 Hydropower project is expected to produce electricity for export to Thailand according to the plan on 15 December 2009.
The statement was released yesterday at the 3rd annual stakeholders forum in Thakhek, Khammouane province. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Somboune Rasasombath, Acting Minister of Energy and Mining, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Construction of the Nam Theun 2 Project, said that the Nam Theun 2 project is the number one priority as far as the Lao PDR is concerned. The development of this project has taken quite a long time, starting with surveys and feasibility studies conducted in the 1980s. However, in the beginning of the 1990s, the Lao government together with foreign investors decided to examine and prepare for development options that involved joint venture between the state and private sector. But the construction of this project only started in mid-2005, and is now being conducted in full swing after receiving support from the World Bank; this was toward the end of March 2005.
The Nam Theun 2 Project has an installed capacity of 1,080 MW, of which 955 MW is for sale to Thailand, and 75 MW is for local consumption. When the construction is complete, the Nam Theun 2 will produce on average 5936 GWh of energy per year, thus annually generating no less than US$ 200 million.
The direct revenue of the government throughout the concession period amounts to around US$ 2,000 million or about US$80 million per year. In addition to a large amount of the direct revenue, the Nam Theun 2 will create indirect benefits for local people in many ways through socio-economic activities.
These will include rural development initiatives, establishment and upgrading of public utilities, in a sustainable way raising the standard of living of more than 5,000 poor household that practise slash-and-burn cultivation on the Nakai Plateau. The biodiversity in the catchment area of the Nam Theun 2 is to be managed and protected for more than 25 years.
Mr. Somboune added that every year during the construction phase, the project provides income and upgrades skills for 5,000-7,000 workers. During this period, technology is transferred to Lao workforce, employments are created, and local people are encouraged to provide services.
The 3rd annual stakeholders forum held to provide the participants with different kinds of information, including strong points and shortcoming as well as achievements in the implementation of the Nam Theun 2 Project.
It also provided an opportunity to all participants to give feedback and recommendations that can help improve the plan for implementing the project in the future with high level of effectiveness.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Xieng Khuang province: electricity to cover 8 districts by 2010

(KPL) The electricity du Laos, Xieng Khuang branch has now expanded the 24 hour electricity use to 10,050 families in 4 districts of Paek, Khoun, Phoukoud and Phaxay.From now to 2010, the electricity du Laos of Xieng Khuang province has planed to extend its network to cover 8 districts or 50% of its total population.Mr. Sisouphan Phommachanh, Deputy Head of the Electricity du Laos of Xieng Khuang province disclosed that so far his organisation has expanded the electricity network with medium voltage to 238 km, 160 km of low voltage and installed 131 transformers. Today the people in Phoukoud and Phaxay districts has already access to the electricity. Mr. Sisouphan added that his organisation is extending the electricity to people of Kham district and the people in 9 villages of Thatom district will use the electricity at the end of 2009.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hongsa Lignite developers approve US$16 million in compensation

(KPL) At least 390 families in five villages living near Hongsa Lignite Power Plant Construction Project site in Sayaboury province must be removed at the end of this year, before starting its construction work at the beginning of 2009, a local official said.
These families will be removed to resettlement area of Napong village, development area in Hongsa district, Sayaboury following the Lignite Power Plant approved more than US$ 16 million to them.
The Hongsa Lignite Power Plant Construction Project has been jointly invested among Laos, Ban Pou Company of Thailand, Ratchaboury Comapany and Chinese companies.
Mr Sisoupoy Kongsanith, Deputy Governor of Sayaboury province said that developers of the Hongsa Lignite Power Plant Construction Project has agreed to compensate impact people in order to hope long-term benefits.
Initially it approved over US$16 million to 390 families.
He said that each family would receive compensation in accordance with real condition. He believed that one family will get at least 50 million kip.
Thai investor invested in the Lignite Power Plant in Sayaboury province, with an expectation of investment amounted to US$1 billion with generation capacity of 1,800 Megawatt.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Theun-Hinboun Power strikes loan deal for expansion project

(KPL) The Theun Hinboun Power Company Limited (THPC), the owner of the 220-MW Theun Hinboun Hydropower Project located on Nam Theun and Nam Hinboun river basins in Borikhamsay Province, approximately 280km from Vientiane, signs loan agreements worth USD 600 million to support the construction of the Theun Hinboun Expansion Project on October 8, 2008 at the Conrad Hotel in Bangkok.
Dr. Prasarn Trairatvorakul, President of Kasikorn Bank, Dr. Apichai Boontherawara, Managing Director of the Export - Import Bank of Thailand, Mr. Jeckie Surtani, Head of Project Finance Asia, KBC Bank, N.V. As well as representative from BNP Paribas, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited, Siam City Bank Public Company Limited and Thanachart Bank Public Company Limited, signed the loan agreements with Dr. David L. Michaels from THPC. The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Mr. Viraphonh Viravong, Director General, Department of Electricity, Ministry of Energy and Mining, of the Lao PDR, Mr. Khammany Inthirath, Managing Director of Electricite du Laos, and Mr. Jan Cedewell, Director Project Development Stathraft as a sponsor of the Expansion project.
According to the press release from THPC, the Company's original 220MW hydropower project started construction in 1995 and commenced commercial operation in March 1998, from which date substantially all of the electrical energy produced thereof has been supplied to Thailand under a long-term power purchase agreement with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. In the past 10 years, Theun Hinboun Power project has been a stable source of revenue to the Government of Lao from taxes, royalties and dividends received from the 60% ownership in the Company through the Electricite du Laos.To meet with the increasing demand for power of both Thailand and the Lao PDR, in 2007 THPC has decided to expand its existing 220MW generating capacity to 500MW. The loan will be used to finance the construction of an upstream dam to create storage reservoir to allow the project to utilize the significant water resources which are currently being spilled by the existing project facilities, creating a new tunnel to divert water to the power house located downstream, and installing additional turbines to increase the existing capacity by 280MW from 220 MW to 500 MW by 2012. the project calls for an investment of USD 665 million and the construction will take 4years from 2008 to 2012.
Once completed, the Theun Hinboun Power Project will have a combined capacity of 500 MW, approximately 88% of which will be for sale to Thailand with the remaining for local consumption in the Laos .

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Vietnam to invest in hydropower construction in Laos

(KPL) A feasibility study of Nam Theun 4 hydropower construction project will be operated in central province of Bolikhamsay, by a Vietnamese company after inking in the MoU last week.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed here between the Ree Power Plant Company of Vietnam and Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The company will conduct 18 month-study to determine the viability of the project.
The company will sign a further agreement with the government if the study shows the project to be economically viable.
If the project goes ahead, the plant will have an installation capacity of about 180MW.
Laos has the potential to generate a total of about 26,600MW of power from hydro sources, excluding the mainstream Mekong River.
Of this, about 18,000 MW is technically exploitable. About 12,500MW can be potentially generated by sources in the major Mekong sub-basins and the remainder in minor Mekong or non-Mekong basins.
Less than 2 percents of the country's hydropower potential has been developed over the past 30 years, according to the Energy Promotion and Development Department.

Champassak, 26 villages access electricity during couple of years

(KPL) Twenty-six villages have accessed electricity since 2006. The province plans to have 118 villages across the province use electricity by 2012.
Mr. Niphone Viengpasard Head of Champassak Administration Office, governors from 10 districts in the province and relevant officials held a meeting on the electricity expansion in the province during the last few years.
The province puts priority to electricity expansion to focal development areas and the villages, which have potential tourist sites and used to be revolutionary bases.
At least 7.8 million US dollars will be spent for the expansion of electricity during the next four years. Twenty per cent of the fund injecting into the expansion is from the government and the rest 80% from the World Bank and Nam Theun II Hydropower Project and the Electricity du Lao.