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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nam Theun 2 Project Hands Lao Government US$100m of Assets

(KPL) The Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) has transferred ownership of over US$100 million worth of assets to the Lao government, following the start of commercial operations at the hydroelectricity plant.

A ceremony was held in Thakhek, Khammouane province, on June 29 to commemorate the handover of the assets, built under the concession agreement between the government and the NTPC. A total of over US$102m worth of roads, electricity transmission lines, and community facilities now belongs to various government agencies and the Lao public. The community assets include schools, health centres, agricultural facilities and water supply systems. Nam Theun 2 began commercial export of 1,000 MW of electricity in March 2010, and agreed an official commercial operations date of April 30 with its main customer, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

Speaking at the ceremony, Jean-Christophe Philbe, Chairman of the NTPC Board of Directors, said that the 270 km of roads built by the project have already made a huge difference to peoples' lives, linking Nakai district to the rest of Khammouane province and connecting its people to the rest of the nation. Mr Philbe said that the ability to access markets and services has delivered instant leap in quality of life in the area.

Earlier in the day a symbolic handover was held at a 115/22 kV electricity substation in Gnommalath district. The substation and associated transmission lines have been handed over to the Electricite du Laos to allow the national grid to receive the 70 MW of domestic power generated by Nam Theun 2. NTPC has also built a 22 kV distribution system bringing electricity to villages on the Nakai Plateau.

On symbolically receiving all the assets from the NTPC, the Minister of Energy and Mining, Soulivong Daravong, called the Nam Theun 2 Project one of Lao PDR's development priorities, and said that in addition to huge financial benefits, the project also marked the beginning of rural development in the area. "Nam Theun 2 has enhanced public services and infrastructure, thereby improving livelihoods, creating permanent jobs, and raising the living standards of local people, which are becoming better and better every day," said the minister.

Also present at the event, the Vice-Governor of Khammouane province, Oday Soudaphone, described Nam Theun 2 as a multi-purpose project which was alleviating poverty among the people of central Khammouane. He thanked NTPC for the facilities and promised that the provincial authority would actively manage and use the assets with maximum efficiency.

Mr Khambay Damlath, Governor of Khammouane, added that Nam Theun 2 had already had a very positive effect on the whole country, as its development had `created the conditions and opportunity for the Lao PDR to attract foreign investment by setting a model for other projects to follow`.

EGAT inks electricity purchase from Sayaboury hydropower dam

(KPL) The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has agreed to purchase 1,220-kW at a cost of 2,159 baht per kilowatt-hours (kWh), from Sayaboury hydropower dam. The dam is an investment by the Ch. Karnchang Public Company Ltd. of Thailand.

The EGAT will purchase electricity from Sayaboury hydropower dam throughout the concession of the Ch. Karnchang Public Company Ltd of Thailand, by connecting a 220 km 500-kW transmission line of the EGAT from a substation in Loei province, northeast Thailand, to the electricity system of the Sayaboury hydropower dam.

By 2019, the Sayaboury hydropower dam is expected to generate electricity and export it to Thailand.

The Sayaboury hydropower dam will be built in Sayaboury district, northwestern Laos, under the management of the Mekong River Commission and is based on an agreement reached between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam related to the cooperation and sustainable development for lower part of the Mekong River.

A signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding on the electricity purchase took place at the Done Chanh Palace Hotel, 5 July between representatives of the EGAT and the Ch. Karnchang Public Company Ltd. of Thailand in presence of Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and officials of both sides.

Luang Namtha helps poor families access electricity

KPL) The Electricite du Laos in Louang Namtha province early this month held a meeting on the electrification in 157 villages, housing 1,356 households.

The project is to help the poor access electricity by providing them loans of 700,000 kip which will be used for installing electricity into their houses.

Each household is required to pay 20,000 kip monthly to the financer EDL for 35 months after the electricity installation is over.

This amount excludes electric bill that they have to pay to the EDL monthly. The meeting, held on July 9 was attended by Coordinator of the Electrification for Poor Family Project, Mr. Phonesavanh Ou-domvilay, representatives of the Electricite du Laos in Louang Namtha province and local authorities.

The development of basic infrastructure is given much attention from the government of Laos to help the Lao people live over the poverty by 2020.

Over 100 rural villages in Houaphan to enjoy electricity by 2012

(KPL) 124 villages in Phathy area, Viengthong district, northeast province of Houaphanh will enjoy electricity access in the next two years after a contract on installation of 22/0.4 KV transmission line was signed last Friday.

The Government has agreed to invest 18.2 billion kip in the expansion of electricity network systems of 22 KV stretching 369 km and 130.5 km long of 0.4 KV access to these villages, said Director General of Ministry of Energy and Mining's Energy Department, Mr Chalern Inthavong.

The contract signed between Head of Ministry of Energy and Mining's Energy Department, Mr Chalern Inthavong and Director of Hung Heung Electrical Construction Company Mr Phongphet Phanyasili, at Lao Plaza Hotel, on 16 July.

The contract was stipulated that the Hung Heung Electrical Construction, a contractor company will install transmission line access to the Phathy area to be completed within 30 months.

This project is a part of government plan to promote the socio-economic development and improve the living conditions of people in rural areas, he continued.

He stated further that the Government also expected to sign more contracts with constructing companies to expand more the power grid network linking Sam Nuea to Viengthong districts, Viengsay to Samtay districts and some development village cluster in the near future.

Presently, Electricite du Laos heeds its master plan on 115 KV power grid expansion networks nationwide.

The Electricite du Laos, a main supplier company is on mission of power grid installation linking Peak district of Xiengkhouang province to Sam Nuea district of Houaphanh province, which expects to be completed by 2012.

Last year's statistic of Houaphanh province showed that about 37 percent of household of eight districts in the province were accessible by electricity.

Five districts of them, imported electricity from neighbouring country of Vietnam and the rest used electricity generating from small scale hydropower project, said Head of Ministry of Energy and Mining's Planning Department, Mr KoneThong Phoumiphon.