Vientiane Times, December 4, 2013
Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company Limited expects to begin construction of its hydropower plant in southern Laos by the end of this year after securing funding and a contractor, according to a major company shareholder.
Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH), which holds 25 percent of the US$993.7 million (32 billion Thai baht) project, gave a project update to the media on Monday, revealing the developer had signed syndicated loan agreements with Thai banks last week.
Major Thai banks Krungthai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Thanachart Bank and the Export and Import Bank of Thailand will provide the loans for the project.
RATCH Chief Executive Officer, Mr Pongdith Potchana, was quoted in Thai online publication The Nation as saying construction of the 410 MW hydropower plant in Champassak and Attapeu would take about five years to complete. The power plant is sched uled to start commercial operations in 2018.
About 370 MW or 90 percent of the generating capacity will be distributed to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand under a 27-year power purchase agreement. The rest will be fed into the Lao electricity grid.
The electricity for Thailand will be transmitted to the Ubon Ratchathani sub-station through a 500KV line to help ensure power stability in the northeast parts of Thailand.
According to RATCH, Xe Pian Xe Namnoy has also signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with SK Engineering and Construction to build the power plant.
At present, the hydropower company is recruiting staff in Laos as part of its preparations to build the plant.
Xe Pian Xe Namnoy is a joint venture between the Lao government, which has a 24 percent stake, SK Engineering and Construction Co, with a 26 percent stake, and Korea Western Power Co. and Thailand-based Ratchaburi Electric Generating Holding, with 25 percent each.
It is one of the Lao government’s designated mega private investment projects scheduled to be built between 2011 and 2015.
The government plans to build at least 10 dams as part of efforts to secure 8 percent gross domestic product growth annually throughout the period. The country has the potential to build more than 100 dams, with a total installed power capacity of about 28,000 MW.
At present, the country has about more than 15 dams with an installed capacity of about 3,200 MW. Most of the power is exported to neigbouring countries, in particular Thailand, to generate funds to reduce poverty in Laos.