Xayaboury provincial authorities have given approval for the private sector to consider eight small hydropower projects as part of efforts to increase provincial electricity supply and sale.
The Nam Houng I project, with an installed capacity of 15MW will be studied by the Simeuang Group, the Nam Houng II project in Khonepied village area will be studied by the Phanthamith Road Bridge Construction Company, and the Nam Houng III project in Nakouang village area will be studied by the DM Company, according to the provincial Energy and Mines Department.
The Nam Maed project in Pakthiew will also be studied by the Phanthamith Road Bridge Construction Company, the Nam Sing project in Hongsa by the Ketmany Company, the Nam Nhang project by the DM Company, while the Nam Pui project in Pheing district will be studied by the Keochaleun Road Bridge Construction Company and the Nam Ngum II project by the Hai Inchernaring company.
Other medium and large hydropower projects are also undergoing feasibility studies, while some are under construction and some are beginning to produce electricity.
They include the Xayaboury Hydropower construction project with an installed capacity of 1,285MW, which is now 60 percent complete, Hongsa Mine Mouth Power Plant project which is already generating electricity, and the 912MW Nam Kong hydropower project in the Ngeun-Pakbaeng district area of neighbouring Oudomxay province, which is still in the document approval process.
The 740MW Nam Kong hydropower project in Paklai district and 950MW Donemem hydropower project in Kaenthao district, 60MW Nam Phoun hydropower project in Paklai district and 70MW Pak Ngum hydropower project in the Nguen-Hongsa district area are all under study and development.
It is expected that if all the projects under study go ahead, the province will be able to increase its revenue from concessions and selling electricity both domestically and to neighbouring countries.
It would also create job opportunities for local people and help to alleviate poverty.
Xayaboury is one of eight northern provinces, and is rich in natural resources especially forests and rivers.
This potential provides possibilities for development, business operations and investment by the government and private sector.
The government is promoting the rapid development of power plants for local supply in a bid to cut electricity imports.
Some 40 hydropower projects have currently been completed with 6,304MW of installed capacity and are valued at around US$10 billion, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
The ministry hopes that Laos will be able to supply about 10,000MW of electricity by 2020 and 20,000MW by 2030.
Some 91 percent of the country’s households now have access to electricity and some is exported to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and now also Myanmar, said Dr Khammany.
Source: Vientiane Times