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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".