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Friday, March 11, 2011

Hydropower project boosts Lao-Viet relationship

The Hydropower Xekaman 1 Electricity Project is strengthening cooperation between Laos and Vietnam while providing a boost to the socio-economic development of both countries.

A ceremony to open the ground-breaking project was held on Sunday in Attapeu province, attended by Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Hoang Trung Hai and officials from both sides.

The dam has a generating capacity of 322MW, which totals 1.2 billion KWh a year. The project is funded with US$441 million from the Vietnamese government and is being built by Songda-UCRIN Company of Vietnam.

The hydropower plant, due for completion in 2014, will be handed over to the Lao government after 25 years.

Laos has untapped potential in energy generation which is crucial for the socio-economic development of both countries.

The project serves to increase the friendly relationship between the two governments.

The company has begun building basic infrastructure for the project which already employs 500 workers using 100 vehicles and machines.

To boost cooperation between the two governments, the company and project partners are already preparing to invest in two further hydropower projects.

Laos has a valuable source of natur al energy in its water resources which guarantees the electricity necessary to drive development in the future, said Mr Hoang Trung Hai.

Laos and Vietnam signed an agreement in 1998 to expand energy resources and will continue cooperation until they meet the targets set.

The cooperation benefits the development of both countries, the Vietnamese deputy premier said.

The Hydropower Xekaman 1 Electricty Project is a priority development of the Lao government and was first initiated 20 years ago but faced many difficulties along the way, said Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr Soulivong Daravong.

Families whose homes are situated on the project site will be relocated to ease their poverty and improve their living conditions, he added.

The project will supply 5,000MW of electricity to Vietnam by 2020, he said.

By Khamphone Syvongxay
(Latest Update March 8 , 2011)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

EDL, Schneider Electric further cooperation

(KPL) The 'Electricite du Laos' (EDL) and Schneider Electric have fostered cooperation by signing an MOU on human resource development.

The signing ceremony was held on 23 February, at the Lao Plaza Hotel in Vientiane between Mr. Boun-oum Sivanpheng, Deputy Managing Director of EDL, and Mr Nelson Yeap, President of Schneider Electric Thailand.

The main purposes of this cooperation are to create electrical standards including cooperation in order to communicate with consumers to install electrical systems in the buildings to ensure accuracy and safety through knowledge and experience transferred by expert from Schneider Electric.

This year's aim is to enhance knowledge and electrical cooperation with the National University of Laos and the Skill Development Department.

"This year we will have further cooperation on personnel development and standard knowledge on electric installation in Laos between the EDL and Schneider Electric for a year, which the Schneider Electric will train and give more experiences to EDL's electricians for developing their quality work," said Mr Boun-oum.

"Schneider Electric had trained electricians of EDL to upgrade their knowledge and skills like enabling them not only to know the appropriate method of electrical system installation, but to be able to select and use high quality products based on unique requirements by expert from our company, Electricity Authority and Professors from leading universities in Thailand," said Mr. Yeap.

Xiengkhouang: Over 3,200 poorest families to enjoy electricity supply

(KPL) EDL's rural electrification programme will bring light to more than 3,200 poorest families in the districts of Paek, Phasay, Khoune, Kham and Phoukoud of Xiengkhouang province by this year, said Mr. Soumountha Bounleuan, head of the 'Electricite du Laos' in Xiengkhouang province.

He said that Xiengkhouang province with 8 districts had so far had 238 villages with 23,622 people connected to power grid.

The expansion of the electricity network in this northern province is part of activities to materialise the seventh congress resolution of the Party and a social-economic development plan of the province.

The programme also lies in a poverty reduction plan of the province

Samneua-Viengsay power grid upgrade under way

(KPL) The Electricite du Laos (EDL) branch in Houaphanh province and Thavisab Construction Maintenance and Installation Company have signed a memorandum of understanding on improving power grid project between Samneua and Viengsay.

The agreement on the project was signed in Houaphanh province on February 17 between Deputy Director of the EDL in Houaphanh, Mr. Savath Phoumlavanh, and Director of the Thavisab Construction and Installation Company, Mr. Vongsanty Phoummanivong.

Witnessing the event were Head of the Energy and Mining Service of Houaphanh province, Mr. Phonevilay Phengdalachanh, and relevant officials.

The development project, estimated at 15 billion kip, will include the installation of 22-KV power grid from Samneua district to Viengsay district, Houaphanh province. The work is expected to start late this month and complete in mid-2011.

Samneau to sunshine by domestic electricity

(KPL) The power grid installation project for 115 kilovolt of high voltage and 22 kilovolt with a total amount of US$30.4 million linking Phonsavanh district, Xiengkhuang province to Houaphanh province is now 75 per cent to complete.

The project was undertaken by a Chinese company which started end-2009 to install a 170-km long of transmission line and 431 electricity poles.

Presently, the contractor company has already fulfilled in building the base of 389 electricity poles, sub-stations and installation of power grid of 106 km stretch and transformers.

The project framework averaged 75 per cent complete and expected the installation work will complete in May, 2011.

If the project completes, Samnuea district's stronghold of Lao revolution will create more stability and be sufficiency in electricity consumption in the district.

So far, Samneau district has imported electricity from Vietnam. In the future, there will be no more import electricity from neighbouring country, if this project completes.

Samneau district will be a hub of power to supply electricity to other district. Samneau district will build some scale hydropower dam in the future.

Electrification in Houaphanh

(KPL) Houaphanh on Feb 5 held at Laohoung village, Siengkhor district, a ground-breaking ceremony for the installation and expansion of the medium and low-voltage power grid for 34 villages in three districts of Aid, Siengkhor and Sobbao.

The development is aimed at contributing to the poverty reduction in the province.

The move estimated at 55 billion kip, will benefit over 530 households in Aid, 280 in Sobbao and over 1,000 families in Siengkhor.

The project will include the installation of 112-km long 35 KV power line, and nearly 50-Km long 0.4 KV power cable, and 34 transformers along the power grid.

The Lao Government plans to increase the percentage of electricity use to 70% of the entire population by 2015 and 90% by 2020.

Attending the Saturday's ground-breaking ceremony were Vice-Governor of Houaphanh province Mr. Chanseng Phimmavong, relevant officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mining, authorities of Siengkhor, Aid and Sobbao districts and local people.

EDL opens one more customer service

(KPL) The Electricite du Laos (EDL) on Monday, Feb 7 opened its new customer service at Meuangva Thong village, Sikhottabong district, Vientiane Capital, to improve its service.

The EDL office in Vientiane Capital has decided to build the customer service after learning that customers found it difficult to pay electricity bills in the four inner districts of the Capital as it is difficult to find parking lot, according to Mr. Soukhon Chanthone, EDL deputy-director of Vientiane Capital office.

With the newly built facility, the EDL has four customer services. Two are at Sisaketh and Phontong villages of Chanthaboury district; one at Sokpaluang village, Sisattanark district; and another one at Meuangva Thong village, Sikhottabong district.

PM receives NTPC high-ranking delegation

(KPL) Mr. Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, received at his office on Saturday a courtesy visit of Mr. Jean Pierre Katz, Chief Executive Officer of Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC).

At the talks, PM Thongsing Thammavong praised and highly valued the visit to Laos of Mr. Jean Pierre Katz as a big contribution to further strengthening the friendly relation and co-operation between Laos and the NTPC and hoped that it will further contribute to the social-economic development in Laos.

NTPC is the company formed by the Lao Government and the private shareholders in the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project to build and operate the Project for the first 25 years of its operation.

NTPC is dedicated to running a world class hydropower facility and to improving the living conditions of people in the areas around the Project.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Namtha 3 Hydropower Plant to turn on turbine in mid-2011

(KPL) The Namtha 3 Hydropower Plant in Namtha district, Luang Namtha province, is expected to begin its power generation in mid-2011.

A tariff memorandum of understanding of the hydropower project was signed in Vientiane Capital on December 28.

The signatories of the agreement were Deputy Director of Electricite du Laos Savarth Phoumlavanh and Director of DPS Bridge and Road Construction Company Kaypheth Douangpaseuth.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Director of Electricite du Laos Khammany Inthilath and relevant officials of both sides.

With an installation capacity of 1.25 MW, the plant is estimated to generate six gigawatt-hours per year and sell the power to the Electricite du Laos.

Ratchaburi Holding buys EDL-Gen's 81.11 million shares

(KPL) Ratchaburi Electricity Generation Holding Public Company Limited, Thailand, bought 81.11 million shares of the Electricite du Laos-Generation Public Company (EDL-Gen) on the Lao Securities Exchange (LSX) in Vientiane on 11 January.

Mr. Noppol Milinthanggoon, President of the Ratchaburi Holding, said that the transaction was valued at USD43.37 million and made through its two subsidiaries, Ratch-Lao Services Company Limited, located in Vientiane, and RH International ( Singapore) Corporation Pte, based in Singapore.

Mr. Noppol said that this investment would not only drive the growth to the company, it also reinforces our commitment to long-term investment and confidence in the economic potential of Laos.

He said the company has already invested over 70 million baht in the Lao power sector. Our existing projects include four power plants. The Nam Ngum II hydropower station has a generation capacity of 615 MW and is expected to export electricity this year. The Nam Ngum III hydropower station will have a generation capacity of 440 MW, which is expected to export electricity in 2017. With an investment US$ 3,700 million, the coal-fired Hongsa power plant in Sayaboury province, northwestern Laos, has a generation capacity of 1,878 MW, and is expected to export electricity in 2017, and the Hongsa lignite mining project.

Upon completion, the Se Pien-Se Nam Noi dam in Champassak and Attapeu provinces, southern Laos, will have a generation capacity of 390 MW and is expected to export electricity in late 2017. Most of the electricity output will be exported to Thailand, said Mr. Noppol.

In addition, the company has established RATCH-LAO Service Company Limited to run operation and maintenance business for the power plants in the Lao PDR.

He added the subscription for EDL-Gen's shares was another step for increasing our presence in the Lao power industry as well as supporting the Government of the Lao PDR in developing the country's capital market and economy.

The Ratchaburi Holding, represented by RATCH-LAO Service and RH International ( Singapore) Corporation together, has held a 9.34% equity stake in EDL-Gen. The 56.112 million IPO's share of EDL-Gen was allocated to RATCH-LAO Service, while 25 million shares went to RH International ( Singapore) Corporation, Mr. Noppol said.

The company is very confident that EDL-Gen's management will be able to continue its growth and consistently generate significant benefits for its shareholders and other stakeholders.

The EDL-Generation shares rose from 4,300 kip per unit to 4,700 kip, while the BCEL share price rose from the average IPO price of 5,500kip to 8,000 kip on the first day of trading on the LSX.

Nam Theun 2 reaches project milestone

(KPL) The Lao government has signalled that the Nam Theun 2 Multi-Purpose Project has met its contractual obligations to date, as defined in the concession agreement between the government and the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC).

The NTPC, owner and operator of the project, on November 5 2010 submitted to the government and its advisors a certificate listing the completion or partial completion of almost 140 requirements that the company is bound to fulfil. On December 3, the government gave its non-objection to the issue of this certificate.

The project requirements, mainly concerning environmental and social commitments and also design and performance standards, are detailed in the concession agreement signed in 2002. Around 50 of the requirements are accepted as complete, while those partially completed are acknowledged to be under implementation and ongoing. Examples include income improvements for resettled villagers, which are being achieved through an eight-year livelihoods support programme.

The project Dam Safety Review Panel (DSRP), comprised of international hydropower experts, has been monitoring the construction and operation of the industrial side of the project for the past five years, and on November 8 signalled acceptance that the Nam Theun 2 meets the requirements expected under international standards and under the concession agreement.

The International Environmental and Social Panel of Experts, or POE, has also signed its non-objection to the certificate, following detailed inspection of the project�s wide-ranging development and environmental protection programmes. The POE members, who have been monitoring the Nam Theun 2 Project for over 15 years, have stated that while the long-term social and environmental commitments of the NTPC are still a work in progress, the project is largely on track. The Lao government's non-objection, given following consultation with the POE and DSRP, was issued by the Ministry of Energy and Mining. The minister, H.E. Soulivong Daravong, said that the scope of the Nam Theun 2 was unprecedented, and that the NTPC and its partners had done a remarkable job to bring such a broad range of social improvements and environmental safeguards to an advanced stage in a relatively short time. According to Jean-Pierre Katz, the NTPC Chief Executive Officer, the job cannot be regarded as complete. "We must emphasise our continued responsibility to the people living around the project area and to the Lao government," said Mr Katz.

He explained that while people resettled by the project are currently enjoying greatly increased incomes, the NTPC will continue to work with village, district, provincial and national partners to ensure that this improvement is sustainable. The project must also prepare for the time when local people and authorities will continue the social and environmental work, so that residents of the Nam Theun 2 areas can benefit fully from the project.

The NTPC has provided reassurance to the government and the POE that we remain fully committed to the environmental and social goals of this multi-purpose investment, said Mr Katz. "We need to complete work that is only partially finished in certain areas, and must retain our focus and our financial and human resource commitments until the project targets, as defined by the concession agreement, are reached".