Vientiane Times, April 22, 2014
Laos expects to have a total installed power generation capacity of around 7,000 megawatts (MW) nationwide in the 2015-16 fiscal year, due to the construction of several power plants set to be complete.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines Deputy Minister, Dr Khammany Inthirath said at a press conference two weeks ago, that Laos had 39 power plant development projects which were underway or about to begin construction.
Dr Khammany said the 39 power plants would include almost 20 power plants which were expected to complete in 2015-16 and they would have an installed capacity of almost 4,000 megawatts (MW).
“Currently Laos has had more than 3,000MW and it will be approximately 7,000MW by the time the construction finishes,” Mr Khammany said.
Another Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr Viraphonh Viravong said at the Asia Cooperation Dialogue seminar held in Laos earlier this month that there were 33 projects with an installed capacity of 5,570MW under construction.
The Ministry’s Planning and Statistics Division reported last month there would be four additional hydropower plants which would begin commercial operation this year after three came online last year.
The four plants which plan to begin energy generation this year are the Xekaman 3, Xenamnoy 1, Nam Sana and Nam Ngiep 3A hydropower plants in the provinces of Xekong, Attapeu, Xieng Khuang and Vientiane.
An additional seven hydropower plants will begin commercial operation next year while another five are scheduled to begin generation in 2016, the ministry said.
The seven plants which will start energy generation next year are Hongsa Mine-Mouth Power Project, Nam Ngiep 2, Nam Beng, Nam Kong 2, Nam Khan 2, Houay Lamphannyai and Nam Hinboun in the provinces of Xayaboury, Xieng Khuang, Oudomxay, Attapeu, Luang Prabang, Xekong and Khammuan.
Five power plants are also scheduled to commence generation in 2016, including Nam Sim, Nam Lik 1, Nam Mang 1, Nam Khan 3 and Xekaman 1 in the provinces of Huaphan, Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Xieng Khaung and Attapeu.
The Ministry reported last month, so far Laos has 24 operational power plants (starting from 1MW) with a total installed capacity of 3,245MW. Combined, these are generating more than 16,100 GWh annually for local and export markets.
“By 2020 Laos will have 12,500MW of capacity with 75 to 85 percent allocated for export,” Mr Viraphonh said.
“Since demand in the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries will be around180,000MW, Laos will be able to meet about 7 to 8 percent of the total demand,” he said.
Mr Viraphonh said the richest water resource is the Mekong River and it gives Laos the potential to develop more than 25,000 (MW) of electricity.