China Southern Power Grid (CSG) is seeking cooperation with the Lao government to develop power grid infrastructure, aiming to expand the electricity network across the region.
An official from CSG, Mr. Bounmark, said yesterday that even though Laos is in the process of building hydropower plants, especially in the country’s north, continuing power grid expansion such as transmission lines is needed.
Since 2010, CSG has played an important role in facilitating the development of hydropower projects and planning key grid infrastructure improvements in Laos.
According to Mr. Bounmark, Laos is well situated to broaden its power distribution as it is surrounded by China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
In 2006, CSG was selected by the Chinese government to create a regional power grid between China (specifically Yunnan province) and Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, according its website.
The proposed regional power grid was first canvassed by the Asian Development Bank as part of their Greater Mekong Sub-Regional Initiative.
If Laos continued to develop better power grid infrastructure it would help to push sales of electricity to other ASEAN countries, the official added.
CSG built the Nam Tha 1 Hydropower Project in Laos which supplies electricity to the country and plans to continue cooperating with the Lao government to develop electricity exports for the region.
According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ Energy Policy and Planning Department, under current arrangements the generated energy is for both local supply and export to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Laos will push for the acceleration of energy integration under the ASEAN Power Grid (APG) to address the imbalance in the distribution of power-generating resources in the region.
The APG aim s to connect countries with surplus power generation capacity to those that face a deficit. The intention is to link up power lines in the 10 ASEAN nations by 2020.
Laos has built 38 power plants at a total cost of more than 81.7 trillion kip (US$10 billion), with a total installed capacity of 6,265MW.
They can generate 33,315 million kWh of electricity a year and some 20.4 percent of the power generated is consumed in Laos while 79.6 percent is exported.
Source: Vientiane Times