Vientiane Times, February 04, 2013
The government has given a 32 year land lease to investors to develop the 390MW Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydroelectric project, with the reservoir to cover 238 hectares in Champassak and Attapeu provinces.
On behalf of the government, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Mr Akhom Tounalom, signed the lease agreement with the CEO of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Company, Mr Young-Ju Choi, in Vientiane on Friday.
Construction is expected to start in July, with commercial operation slated for February 2019, project officials told the *Vientiane Times *yesterday. The initial investment cost of the project will be about 2,100 billion kip.
When the plant becomes operational in 2019, some 90 percent of the energy generated will be exported to Thailand, while the remaining 10 percent will be sold domestically.
Four separate parties have entered into a joint venture to develop the project. The Lao government holds a 24 percent share and SK Engineering and Construction company holds 26 percent, while the Korea Western Power Company and Thailand-based Ratchaburi Electric Generating Holding Public Company hold 25 percent each. Throughout the project, the developers will pay the Lao government more than 7.9 billion kip (more than US$1 million) for the land lease.
In August 2006, the government, represented by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the project developers, represented by the SK Engineering and Construction Company, signed a memorandum of understanding to carry out a feasibility study on the project.
Following the completion of the study, the two parties signed an agreement to develop the project in November 2008.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has already approved environmental and social impact assessment reports on the dam, according to a press release handed out at the signing ceremony.
The project will add fuel to the government’s efforts to turn Laos into the ‘battery of Asean’, maximising its rich abundance of natural rivers to develop hydroelectric dams and power up the region with clean, non-polluting energy.
Laos has great untapped potential to develop hydroelectric dams – one of the cleanest sources of energy generation. In total, the country has the potential to generate about 28,000MW of electricity if this potential is maximised. Currently, hydropower plants in Laos have an installed capacity of only 2,559MW.