Vientiane Times, 27 June 2013
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has approved a soft loan of more than US$70 million for the Nam Ngum I dam expansion project.The project will upgrade the existing hydropower plant to increase its peak load power supply capacity by 40MW.
Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Santiphab Phomvihane, and Chief Representative of the JICA Laos Office, Mr Koichi Takei, signed the loan agreement in Vientiane last week. The five-year expansion project comes as electricity demand rises in Laos and across the region, particularly during the dry season.
The Nam Ngum I dam came into operation in 1971 with an installed generating capacity of 155MW. The dam is located 90 km north of Vientiane, and at 370 sq km, is the largest water body in Laos. The Nam Ngum catchment covers 8,460 sq km and is on track to become one of the most heavily dammed catchments in Laos.