Vientiane Times, 14 August 2014
Energy investor Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE) has reported that, as at the end of June, construction of the Hongsa Mine-Mouth Power Project in Hongsa district, Xayaboury province, was 87.7 percent complete.
“The project is only 0.3 percent behind plan,” the LHSE General Manager Dr Somboune Manolom reported at the biannual meeting of the enterprise on Tuesday in Vientiane.
“The project has so far cost more than 17.55 trillion kip (US$2.19 billion), which is 79 percent of the total projected cost of over 28.93 trillion kip (US$3.71 billion),” Dr Somboune said.
The Hongsa mine-mouth power project will begin energy generation in 2015. It is the largest power plant to be built in Laos, and will have an installed capacity of 1,878 megawatts.
Dr Somboune said the 87.7 percent completion included construction of the powerhouse which was 89.1 percent complete, the 500kV and 115kV transmission lines and substation were 99.97 percent complete; and the two dams on Nam Leuak and Nam Kaen for use by the project, plus pipeline systems were 99.9 percent complete.
With regard to the coal mining side of the project, the overburden sub pit was 83.6 percent complete; and the overburden main pit and construction of a coal stockyard and infrastructure were 100 percent finished.
Dr Somboune said the power plant, which started construction in October 2009 in Hongsa district, is expected to start commercial operations in 2015. The generator units 1 and 2 will begin electricity generation in May and October next year and unit 3 will start in February 2016.
The plant will have an installed capacity of 1,878 megawatts (MW) to generate energy of about 12,582GWh annually for the Lao and Thai markets.
LHSE was set up by the government in February 2005 to facilitate investment in energy generation, and it holds a 20 percent share in the Hongsa power plant.
The Thai Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company owns a 40 percent shareholding in the project, while Banpu Power Ltd of Thailand owns the remaining 40 percent.
Laos has now got 24 operational power plants, from one megawatt upwards, with a total installed capacity of 3,250.3MW. Combined, these are generating more than 16,100GWh annually for local and export markets.The 24 plants include 14 under the management of independent power producers that have a combined installed capacity of about 2,859.6MW and 10 plants under the management of Electricite du Laos (EDL), which have a combined installed capacity of more than 390MW.