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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ADB backs US$20m for transmission line expansion in north



(KPL) Almost 20,000 households in northern provinces will be accessible to electricity when the basic transmission line and power expansion network is installed thanks to the financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The US$20million grant aid agreement was signed by the Deputy-Minister of Finance Mme Viengthong Siphandone and the ADB's Lao country Director Mr Gil Hong Kim, at the Ministry of Finance, last Wednesday.

The grant aid is under the sponsorship of the Great Mekong Sub-region-Northern Power Grid Project.

The project will help Laos to install the power transmission facilities in the northern part of the country to enable the export of energy to neighbouring countries.

It was the first time that the ADB helped in the expansion of electricity grid, which about 18,800 households in the north of the country would receive benefits.

Ms Viengthong said that the development of power grid system played an important role in the exercise of the national economic development plan.

The demand for electricity in the northern provinces is increasing rapidly in recent year due to the growth of population and investment in this region, said Ms Viengthong.

The fund would enable the state-owned enterprise Electricite du Laos to install a 115 KV transmission line and build substations and power distribution line, which runs 400 km long via Sayaboury, Phongsaly and Vientiane provinces.

These facilities would ensure sufficient supply of electricity to local people and manufacturing plants and services as well as improve living conditions of local people, particularly in the blowing up of poverty, she said.

The facilities will also help the government to provide electricity in areas that currently import electricity from neighbouring countries.

The project now plans to install the electricity line links to Thailand for sale.

The project would also receive more US$ 37.88milliion low interest loan from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund of the Republic of Korea (EDCF), which is expected to be inked in the near future.

However, this project will also help the government to meet its target of electrifying 70 percent of all households by 2010 and 90 percent by 2020.

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