Electricite du Laos and General Electric have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch joint research and training programs designed to support the development of Laos’ hydroelectric power sector and electric grid.
With GE assistance, EDL hopes to make Laos a key source of energy generation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region by building a workforce capable of exploiting the country’s hydropower potential.
“We believe fresh thinking and a strong ‘next generation’ workforce are key factors to help us achieve our priority energy goals — from providing affordable, reliable power to more homes nationwide, to developing our energy export business and the renewable power sector,” EDL managing director Bounoum Syvanpheng said.
Per the memorandum, GE will help EDL:
- Design a hydroelectric curriculum;
- Provide technical training at its industrial facilities, Laotian hydropower projects and partner universities;
- Develop local leaders via access to GE’s corporate training programs; and
- Foster access to power in non-connected communities.
“This memorandum with Electricite du Laos is a milestone for GE in Lao PDR as it enables us to bring our energy insights, expertise and experience to the country and support important development programs that are key in achieving future economic growth,” said Wouter van Wersch, president and CEO of GE ASEAN.
EDL’s transmission network will also be assessed by GE Energy Consulting, with expansion and the export of power to neighboring countries as the ultimate goal.
Laos is home to a number of significant hydropower projects that are currently being developed, under construction or receiving upgrades, notably the 1,285-MW Xayaburi, 35-MW Xelanong 2 and 280-MW Theun-Hinboun.