Vientiane Times, January 28, 2014
The Lao government and Chinese hydropower developer Sinohydro are working in cooperation towards the construction of seven hydropower dams on the Nam Ou River in northern Laos.
A river closure ceremony for the construction of the Nam Ou 5 and 6 hydropower projects took place in Phongsaly province last weekend.
The project is a joint development by Electricite du Laos (EDL) and Sinohydro, in which Sinohydro will hold an 85 percent share and Electricite du Laos (EDL) a 15 percent share.
Hydropower projects 5 and 6 are being built on the Nam Ou River as part of a series of dams planned on the watercourse under the build-operate-transfer model, each of which will have a 29 year concession period.
They form part of Phase 1 of the cascade project, along with the Nam Ou 2 which is already under construction downstream in Luang Prabang.
The Nam Ou 5 dam, located in Samphan district of Phongsaly province, will have an installed capacity of 240 MW and be able to generate 1,049 kWH of electricity per year.
The Nam Ou 6 hydro-electric dam is located in Phongsaly district and will have an installed capacity of 180 MW with a production capacity of 739 kWH of electricity per year.
These two projects are worth an estimated US$770 million and are targeted for completion sometime within 2016, according to a Pathetlao Daily newspaper.
The Lao government and Sinhydro will build a total of seven hydropower plants on the Nam Ou under the build-operate-transfer model.
Governor of Phongsaly province, Mr Khamjane Vongphosy spoke at the river closure ceremony, noting that hydropower projects 5 and 6 are located in remote areas of the province and the usage of electricity will directly benefit local residents.
The investment in hydropower development projects in Laos’ northern provinces is growing rapidly, and is set to help the government reach its plan to supply mains power to over 90 percent of families in the area by 2020.
Deputy Prime Minister Mr Somsavat Lengsavad, Phongsaly provincial officials, ministers and deputy ministers along with representatives of the Chinese consulate in Laos were in present at the river closure ceremony.