Laos’ Nam Theun 2 starts exporting electricity to Thailand
Posted : Thu, 18 Mar 2010 07:26:13 GMT By : dpa Category : Energy (Environment) News Alerts by Email ( click here ) Energy Environment News | Home
Vientiane, Laos – Laos’ largest hydroelectric plant – the Nam Theun 2 – has begun exporting electricity to neighbouring Thailand, media reports said Thursday.
The Nam Theun 2 Power Company said that on Monday it started suppling 1,000 megawatts of electricity to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Thailand’s state enterprise responsible for the national electricity supply, the Vientiane Times reported.
The 1,988-MW power plant, located in the central province of Khammuan, also started supplying electricity to the Electricite du Laos (EDL), a state-owned enterprise.
Construction of the 1.4-billion-dollar hydropower plant began in 2005. It was scheduled to begin delivering power to the Lao grid and for export to Thailand in December 2009 but technical problems caused full operation to be postponed until early this year.
According to a report from the Nam Theun 2 Power Company, the plant is expected to generate average annual revenues of 80 million dollars for Laos in the form of taxes, royalty fees and dividends over the 25-year concession.
Revenues from the project, which received a sovereignty guarantee form the World Bank, will be spent on poverty eradication projects in the impoverished communist country.
Nam Theun’s shareholders are Electricite de France (35 per cent), the government-owned Lao Holding State Enterprise (25 per cent), the Electricity Generating Public Company of Thailand (25 per cent), and the Italian-Thai Development Public Company of Thailand (15 per cent).
Ministry of Energy and Mines officials said project developers plan to train Lao staff to replace foreign workers in managing the company and power plant. This will enable the government to operate the plant in 25 years’ time, when the concession period runs out.
At present, Laos has 10 operational hydropower plants. Another 17 plants are in the planning stages and 45 more are undergoing feasibility studies.
The government plans to turn Laos into the “battery” of South-East Asia with its hydroelectricity network.