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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.

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