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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Champassak: 101 villages to have small scale hydropower plants

(KPL) 101 villages in two districts Soukhoumma and Bachieng Chaleunsouk in Champasak province have reportedly an access to electricity generated by small scale hydropower plants.
The Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) held a meeting early this month in the southernmost province to discuss the construction of small scale hydropower plants on streams and rivers in the two districts.
The construction of small scale hydropower plants is among efforts of the Poverty Reduction Fund to improve living condition of the poor in target areas by promoting basic infrastructure development and vocational training.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Government goes ahead Hongsa lignite power plant

(KPL) The Government has given a license to the Pouphai Mining Company in exploration of lignite and the Hongsa Power Company Ltd in conducting a concession of the construction of Hongsa fired power electricity plant with the generation capacity of 1,878 megawatts in Sayaboury province.
Two concessions were signed in Vientiane Capital on 30 November between Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Thongmy Phomvisay, Director General of Energy Promotion and Development, Mr Saypraseuth Phomsoupha and two representatives from two investing companies of the Hongsa power Limited and the Pouphai Mining Company.
The Construction of Hongsa Fired Power Plant Project has been effective, thanks to Lao and Thai Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase of 7,000 megawatts to Thailand in 2007. Under the MoU, the Hongsa Power Plant will supply electricity to Thailand by 2015.
This is thanks to the existing cooperation between Laos and Thailand, and in response to the Thailand's demand on electricity and socio-economic development of Laos.
The construction was a joint venture US$4 billion Hongsa lignite fired power plant in Sayaboury province. The project shareholders are the Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company (RATCH), Banpu Power Limited (BPP) and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE) to construct lignite mining and electricity generation facilities on a 60 square km site in Hongsa district, more than 300 km from Vientiane Capital.
The concession period begins on the execution date and ends 25 years after the commercial operation date of the project, according to the agreement.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has agreed to purchase 1,473 MW from the plant in accordance with the Tariff Memorandum of Understanding signed in May this year.
About 100 MW of power will be sold to the Electricite du Laos for domestic consumption, to give a boost to local socio-economic development. The remaining power will be used by the project for internal mining and power generating operations.
Thai companies BPP and RATCH each hold a 40 percent stake in the project while LHSE holds 20 percent.
The LHSE, BPP will utilise extensive mining and power project development experiences to provide necessary support for the project while RATCH will provide its expertise in power project development to ensure the project uses the most up-to-date and efficient technologies.
LHSE has valuable power development experience in Laos and will ensure the necessary coordination with local authorities.

Monday, November 16, 2009

23 villages in Mork district to get wired next year

(KPL) Twenty-three villages in Mork district, Xiengkhouang province, are expected to have an access to electricity in April 2010. The Electricity du Laos signed an agreement on such development project with the Lao Electricity Installation and Construction State Enterprise last week. The signatories to the agreement were Director of the Electricity du Laos, Mr.Khammany Inthirath, and Director of the Lao Electricity Construction and Installation State Enterprise, Mr. Amphone Phommachanh. 

Mork is a remote district in Xiengkhouang province. As it is located very far away from the heart of the province people in the district find themselves facing difficulties in access to basic infrastructure such as electricity, said Mr. Amphone. He added that the power grid the company would have installed and constructed for the 23 villages in Mork district would be fundamental to helping other northern provinces get access to more electricity in the future.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Electricity visits three villages in Phouvong district

(KPL) Three villages Numkong, Vingxay Phouvong and Vonglakhone in Phouvong district, Attapeu province, have been connected to electricity. The Lao Telecom has spent 1.46 billion kip to install the power grid for the villages which totally house over 365 families.
The installation began in July and was over in September this year.
The handover of the newly installed power grid was held at Attapeu Palate Hotel on October 22 with the presence of Mr. Thansamai Kommasit, Director of Lao Telecom; Mr. Amphone Phommachan, Director of Construction State-enterprise; Mr. Synai Mienlavanh, Governor of Attapeu province and also Governor of Phouvong district and local authorities.
The Lao Telecom also provided 50 million kip to the victims of the flood and Ketsana typhoon in Phouvong district and the Construction State-enterprise provided five tones of rice amounting at 19.5 million kip to the victims.

Government invests 33 billion kip in electrification in Luang Namtha

(KPL) The government has invested 33 billion kip in the installation of electricity network from the municipality of Luang Numtha to Viengphouka district in a bid to reduce poverty in the
A contract for installing the electricity network was signed in Luang Namtha province last week.
The signatories to the document were representatives of the Energy and Mining Service of Luang Namtha province and the Luang Prabang Electricity Network Construction and Transmission Installation Company.
Taking part in the event were Mr. Phimmasone Leuangkhamma, Luang Namtha Governor and Mr. Somboun Lasasombath, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mining.
The investment would be spent on the installation of 22-Kilovolt and 0.4-Kilovolt transmission line, which will take 12 months.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Namor sub-station to supply power for northern Laos

(KPL) Northern provinces will soon use electricity from a 115-kv Namor sub-station in Namor district, Oudomsay province.
The construction of the Namor sub-station and the installation of a 35-km long power grid from Boten in Luang Namtha province, are being carried out with a loan of 6 million US dollars from the Chinese government. The installation is being implemented by the Yunnan Electricity Company.
The Lao government has agreed to buy electricity from China for northern provinces Luang Prabang, Oudomsay, Luang Namtha, Bokeo and Phongsaly. The imported power from China will be supplied by the Namor sub-station.
Both the construction of the Namoh sub-station and the power grid is expected to be completed before the 25th SEA Games, which will be hosted in Vientiane on December 9-18, 2009.
The contractor has already completed 82 per cent of the power grid installation, meanwhile the construction of the Namor sub-station is completed by 27 per cent, said director of the Oudomsay Electricity Company, Mr. Khamlak Inthilath, on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bioenergy and Renewable Energy needed for Rural Development and Poverty Reduction in Laos

(KPL) More than 80 per cent of the population of Lao PDR lives in rural areas, with the vast majority relying on traditional fuel wood for lighting, cooking and heating.
It is a fact often overlooked, but access to efficient, reliable, and clean energy services is a basic requirement for social and economic development. Many emerging small-scale bioenergy and renewable energy technologies aim to make effective use of the biomass materials available to rural communities. Hence, it displaces the need for traditional wood fuel utilisation. These technologies may also bring additional environmental and health benefits and some have already been adapted by local communities and businesses operating in Lao PDR. However, delivering these energy technologies on a large scale, in a way that will benefit the vast majority of Lao people living in rural areas, still presents a significant challenge.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), SNV Netherland Development Organisation (SNV) and the Lao Institute for Renewable Energy (LIRE) have joined with the Lao Government's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to address this challenge and look for ways to deliver more modern bioenergy and renewable energy technologies for the benefit of rural communities in Lao PDR. To be effective in this task, these organisations would first like to consult and engage knowledgeable and motivated, locally based experts to chart a path forward. As a result, representatives from FAO, SNV, LIRE, MEM and other Lao-based rural energy and development experts will organise a one-day meeting on 1st of October 2009, at Lao Plaza Hotel, to develop a concrete plan of action to enhance and expand the delivery of efficient, reliable and clean bioenergy and renewable energy technologies in Lao PDR for the benefit of rural communities and the rural poor.
The anticipated outcomes from the meeting will be:The establishment of priority areas for action to improve delivery of bioenergy and renewable energy technologies for the benefit of rural communities and the rural poor and;
The plan of action to address priority areas including clearly defined activities that can be adopted by meeting partners and other public and private organizations
The common understanding of challenges and opportunities associated with providing efficient, reliable and clean bioenergy and renewable energy technologies to rural communities in Lao PDR.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

PM Bouasone Bouphavanh visits Nam Mang III hydropower plant

(KPL) Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh has recently visited the Nam Mang III hydropower plant and irrigation scheme in Thourakhom district, Vientiane province, where he was received by provincial Party Secretary Chansy Phosikham, and local officials, veterans and people.
PM Bouasone was told by the provincial agriculture and forestry service head about the Nam Mang III irrigation project which was divided into three phases of construction.
Nam Mang III is located on the plateau of Phoukhao Khwai, some 60km north of Vientiane Capital. The hydropower plant has an installation capacity of 40 megawatts and started operation in 2005. The plant is an efficient project because it provides both energy generation for export and local supply and also irrigates nearby farmland.
The irrigation system is particularly efficient because it can supply water to farmers without the use of pumps.
On this occasion, PM advised the two sectors to study and prepare a plan for agricultural development in the area.
Nam Mang III is financed by the Lao government, partly with the assistance of the Chinese government through the EXIM Bank of China. The project started in 2002 at the cost of more than 537 billion kip (US$ 63 million).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nam Theun 2 delivers first local electricity

The Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project has made its first delivery of electricity for domestic use in Laos .

According to a press release from the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC), the project began delivering electricity for domestic use on August 6, 2009, when the first of two Pelton Unit turbines was successfully synchronised with the local substations of Electricité du Laos (EDL).

Engineers from the project and EDL watched the turbine produce 2 megawatts (MW) of power during the first test.

The electricity was transmitted to the EDL substation at Mahaxay and then on for consumption by local customers in Khammuan province. Further tests were conducted the following day, with delivery rising to full power.

The Nam Theun 2 Power Station houses two Pelton Units, each able to deliver 42 MW when running at full power output. The project operator, the NTPC, will supply 300 gigawatt hours of electricity per annum to EDL from next year.

This accounts for 5 percent of the project's output, with the remaining 95 percent to be exported to Thailand via a separate generation and delivery system.

According to the Director of EDL's Transmission and Substation Department Mr Khene Thepvongsa, this power is very important for Laos and for people in the project area.

“When the two Nam Theun 2 Pelton generators are available for full power delivery, Khammuan province will be able to stop importing electricity from Thailand ,” said Mr Khene.

The province currently imports 55-60 MW from across the Mekong .

Mr Khene said the team of EDL engineers were happy to be on hand to see the first domestic power come from Nam Theun 2. “The NT2 engineers were able to smooth some initial problems on the test and then proved to us that the unit can run at full capacity” he said.

EDL purchased this test energy from NTPC at a special low rate and hopes to start buying electricity regularly from September.

The second Pelton generating unit at the NT2 Power Station is expected to come on line in November 2009.

NTPC successfully tested its first export of power to Thailand in June.

NT2 is located in Khammuan province. The 1,070 MW project is the biggest power project in Laos and will generate around US$2 billion of revenue for the country during its first 25 years of operation. According to Nam Theun 2's website, construction began in the middle of 2005.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 11, 2009)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Savannakhet residents access to electricity

(KPL) More than 200 households in Songkhon district, Savannakhet province have accessed to permanent electricity.
They live in five villages of Ban Nonekhamsong, Ban Khanthayath, Ban Nongphue, Ban Nongkong and Ban Noneborkeo.
The expansion of electricity network access to these villages, conducted by Electricite du Laos branch of Savannakhet province, commenced in 2007 and completed in recently this month.
The expansion work is over 1.7 billion kip in which 80 percent was granted Norath (International donor organization) and the rest was the World Bank.
Last week the Electricite du Laos branch of Savannakhet province held an official opening ceremony of electricity in these villages that draw a lot of senior officials in the province.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Laos plans to become battery of ASEAN by 2020

(KPL) Laos has a plan to transform itself to become the battery of ASEAN by 2020 and so rid itself of the status of least developed country.
"According to a government estimate it would be selling 7,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power to Thailand by 2015 and 5,000 megawatts to Vietnam by 2020", said Mr Saypaseuth Phopsoupha, Director of Energy Promotion and Development of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
"The purpose of the production and sale of such a high volume of electricity is to earn millions of US dollars and put them into the coffer of the country," added Mr Saypaseuth.
He also said that the electricity would come from a slew of hydropower dams nationwide, like Nam Thuen 2,
This plan was reviewed at an annual meeting of Ministry of Energy and Mines in Luang Prabang province, last week.
Mr Saypaseuth said that if all the hydropower electricity development projects of the government came on stream and on schedule, the revenue they would generate would get the country out of the least developed country status by 2020.
Many hydropower projects were under the construction and feasibility studies were carried out on quite a few, such as Nam Ngum 2, Nam Lik 1-2 and Sekaman 3.
"Nam Thuen 2 is a good pilot project and it would come on stream at the end of the year," Mr Saypaseuth confirmed.
The Nam Lik 1-2 and Sekaman 3 hydropower construction projects would commence to generate electricity by 2010 and Nam Ngum 2 would be operational by 2011.

Monday, June 22, 2009

99.8 per cent of households in Vientiane access to electricity

(KPL) Over 120,000 households in 500 villages entire Vientiane Capital has been accessible to electricity.
While over 190 households are reported to be used solar cell, according to a report of Vientiane Energy and Mining Division.
Currently the installation of transmission lines work in Vientiane Capital was almost achieved. It counted for 99.8 per cent of households in Vientiane accessed to permanent electricity.
Only Vangma village in Sangthong district was staying in dark which the Energy and Mining Division confirmed that the transmission lines work to this area would be achieved by at the end of this year.
This work is one out of many development activities is strongly contributing to socio-economic development and poverty reduction programme.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Householders to pay more for electricity from 2009 to 2015

(KPL) Householders would be paying more money for domestic electrical consumption as the main electricity company, Electricite du Lao declared a 15 per cent increase for household electricity in 2009.
According to a tariff study report that was made public at a workshop on 19 May, the increase would be implemented some time this year.
The report further stated that the there would be a gradual annual increase in the price of electricity so that by the year 2015 it would hit the maximum price of 25 per cent.
EDL report said that the price increase would be adjusted to the cost of production, capital expenditure and distribution.
This report also argued that there is a need for price increases at different price levels for this year and the next two years: 10 percent for 2009, 17.3 per cent in 2010 and 16.4 percent in 2011.
Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Mr Somboun Rasombath said that the rationale for higher electricity charges is closely related to the social and economic growth of Laos.
The EDL, he added, the provider of sustainable electricity service to the users gets cash from them, which would be channeled to the development of electrical infrastructure and to the building of networks to give electricity to rural areas.
He projected that the average annual rate of increase in the usage of electricity would be as high as 19.5 per cent till 2016 and this situation is exacerbated by high electrical demand in the industrial and mining sectors
The price increase for these two sectors, he said, would be six per cent in 2009, 15 per cent for 2010 and 10 per cent for the next two years, 2011 and 2012.
Regarding this year's increase, Mr Somboun said that an announcement would be made at the end of this year.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vice President calls for environment preservation in Nam Theun II

(KPL) Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit called for the executive board of Nam Theun II Hydropower Project to pay attention on environmental preservation and develop Nam Theun area as a new tourist site.
He also advised on creating an effective socio-economic development plan so as to help local people who were removed to resettlement area having permanent jobs and assuring local people living in this area to live above poverty line.
The construction of roads to facilitate in this area is also important thing that it should also be paid attention, he said.
Vice President Bounnhang gave an advice when he visited the Nam Theun II Hydropower Project in Nakai district, Khammouane province last week.
Vice Premier wand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith and high-ranking officials also joined the visit.
During the visit, Nam Theun II Hydropower Project advisor, Mr Loy Chansavath briefed the VIPs on this project's contribution to the economic development of Laos once it is fully operational and he confirmed that the construction of Nam Theun II Hydropower project would complete on schedule.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Russia to help Laos build three hydropower plants

(KPL) Russia will help Laos build three hydropower plants in the south of the country to supply domestic demand and exports.
Currently, the Region Oil Company of Russia is working on documents to sign with the Lao government and developers, Xinhua news agency quoted the Laos' English-language daily as saying.The documents include a shareholder agreement, a project financing scheme, power purchase agreements (PPA), an operation and maintenance agreement, and concession agreement for the projects of three hydropower plants, namely Nam Kong 1 in Attapeu province, Xekong 4 and 5 in Xekong province.
The company has carried out all necessary surveys and prepared drawings with approval from the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport.The selection of contractors to carry out construction of the projects is also in process, said the Russian company Deputy General Director Vasily Morgun.The three hydropower plants are estimated to cost more than 17. 1 trillion kip (about two billion USD) and have an installation capacity of 1,200 megawatts. They are expected to start operation in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Laos, Thailand to boost power and energy cooperation

(KPL) Laos and Thailand have agreed to continued cooperation in power and energy affairs, although some projects need revision, according to acting Thai Government Spokesman Panithan Wattanayakorn.
Thailand News Agency quoted the spokesman as saying that the policy regarding power and energy affairs was discussed between Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, with both parties sharing the view that cooperation should continue, and expand.
Currently five projects are covered by agreements, he said, including the purchase and sale of electrical power from hydroelectric power stations at dams in Laos will be revised as some contracts are due to expire, and others will be unchanged.
The spokesman added that construction and labour costs, as well as the demand for power, had changed along with changing global economic conditions, making it necessary for the governments of both countries to review the terms and conditions of contracts thoroughly before the contracts are renewed.It is expected the terms of the project revisions would be completed before the Lao prime minister officially visits Thailand in May, he said./.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Savannakhet gives green light to Vietnamese company in dam construction

(KPL) Savannakhet province gave green light to Vietnamese Song Da United Company, to conduct a feasibility study of Sebang Hieng 1 and 2 hydropower dams construction in Savannakhet province with total investment of US$151 million.
According to a signing ceremony of MoU last Wednesday, between Savannakhet Deputy Governor, Dr Souphan Keomisay and Deputy General Manager of Vietnamese Song Da Company Mr Le Van Ton.
Sebang Hieng 1 hydropower dam is located in Sonnaboury and Thapangthong districts and Sebang Hieng 2 is situated in Phin district.
Mr Le Van Ton said that the Sebang Hieng 1 hydropower construction dam worth US$75 million and Sebang Hieng 2 hydropower construction dam was US$75 million.
He added that the Sebang Hieng 1 hydropower plant would have the generation capacity of 50 megawatts and Sebang Hieng 2 would have generation capacity of 52 megawatts
per year

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Widespread power cut leaves people in the dark

The Vientiane Electricity Department yesterday asked people and businesses to conserve electricity, following two major power cuts this week.

The department's Deputy Director, Mr Somphone Thammavongsay, said everyone must make a greater effort to use less electricity. He cited garment factories and irrigation pumps as especially large consumers of electricity in the wake of the power cuts.

The power cuts were the result of a grid overload, but occurred for two quite unrelated reasons on the nights of February 22 and 23, Mr Somphone said.

The outage affected not only a large area of the capital but three provinces using power generated by the Nam Ngum 1 dam - Vientiane , Luang Prabang and Xieng Khuang.

The 10-20 minute power outage on the evening of February 22 is believed to have been caused by generator failure at the Nam Ngum 1 dam.

Mr Somphone said one of the five generators was undergoing routine maintenance and was not generating power.

Maintenance procedures began in February and are set to be completed in August, he said.

But this alone was not sufficient to cause the sharp reduction in power supply. On February 22 at 18.50 pm two of the remaining four generators at the dam failed. Initial investigations found this may have been due to an automated system lock function that was activated, according to Mr Somphone.

The two generators were repaired in 20 minutes, restoring operation to four of the plant's five generators, sufficient to meet consumer demand.

Electricity department officials said an outage caused by a source supply issue on this scale had not occurred for 20 years. Most power cuts are localised and do not involve such fundamental failures in source supply.

In the second outage the following evening, on February 23 at 19.22 pm, the same three provinces and the capital were again left in the dark for almost 30 minutes. On this occasion a damaged electricity cable in Thailand 's Oudon Thani province was the cause.

Mr Somphone said the Lao grid partly relied on power from Thailand to sustain supply.

“When necessary we also use electricity from Thailand , but unfortunately the electrical cables in Oudon Thani province failed to deliver power on this occasion,” he said.

This was an unprecedented and unfortunate event, the department said. They have been assured by their Thai counterparts the damaged cable has been fixed.

The Lao electricity grid links to the Thai grid to stabilise power supply in both countries. When consumption in Vientiane exceeds supply capacity in Laos , electricity from Thailand is automatically diverted to Laos . Laos typically buys electricity from Thailand in the dry season and supplies electricity to Thailand in the wet season, when domestic demand declines.

Mr Somphone said power-hungry factories should cut production from 6 to 9 pm because demand for electricity by households was at its peak during these hours.
The extent to which demand contributed to the supply problems, the overload, and the widespread power outage is unclear.

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath
(Latest Update February 26, 2009)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Russians are coming to invest in Sekong province

(KPL) Russian investors are coming to Sekong province and some of them are targeting two sectors, energy and mining.
Provincial Governor, Dr Khamphanh Phommathat warmly welcomed the Russian ambassador to Laos, Mr Vladimmir Plotnikov and his entourage when they visited Sekong province on 3 February.
The ambassador said that his country is supportive of Russian investors to this province, especially in energy and mining.
In 2008 Russia invested in a hydropower project, Sekong 4, with a capacity of 600 MW and another such project of Sekong 5.
Dr Khamphanh said that Russia’s investment would support and strengthen the relationship between Laos and Russia and create jobs for the local people

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New hydropower plant to build at Thad Saland of Sepone district

(KPL) The government of the Lao PDR has agreed recently to allow the Thai Hydropower Construction Company to build the new hydropower plant at Thad-Saland waterfall in Sepone district, Savannakhet province.The signing ceremony for the project was held in Vientiane on 3 February between Mr. Thongmy Phomvisay, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment and Ms. Ounada Pheutrinarakone, President of the Thai Hydropower Construction Company. Acting Minister of Energy and Mining and senior official from Thai Embassy were also attended at signing ceremony.
The Thad-Saland Hydropower Construction Project at Sepone district is 100% investment project of Thai businessmen with the total investment of 225 million bath. The 30 years concession project with 3.2 megawatts will take two years for construction.
After completion in 2011, the project will provide electricity current not only for the general people but also for the projects in the Sepone and nearby districts.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Se Set II power plant to supply electricity to five southern provinces

(KPL) Saravan province will cease to buy electricity from Thailand in 2009. With the completion of the construction of Se Set II hydropower plant in Saravan province in June 2009 this plant would have the capacity to supply electricity to all the consumers of this state.
On its completion this plant should be able to generate 76 MW and produce 309 GWH of electrical power per year, more than the Se Set I hydropower plant’s capacity of 31 MW.
When the plant is fully operational it will be able to cope with the entire power demand of Saravan province and the other southern provinces, Attapeu, Champasak, Xekong, and Savannakhet.
However, eight districts in Saravan province and more than half of the 926 villages of the state will receive electricity from Electricite du Laos.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vietnam to build hydropower plants in northern Laos

(KPL) Vietnam will build three hydropower plants on the Aed River in a northern province Huaphan.
The plants will have a combined generation capacity of 420 MW.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the hydropower development was signed by the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr. Thongmy Phomvisay, and Director General of EVN International Joint Stock Company, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Huan, in Vientiane last Wednesday.
The signing was witnessed by Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr. Somboune Rasasombath, and the
Charge d'Affaires and Economic Attache of the Vietnamese Embassy to Laos, Mr. Luong Coc Huy and Mr. Doan Tho Nam, respectively, as well as relevant officials of both sides.