Laos and China have commenced the country’s first build-operate-transfer power grid project for the China-Laos railway.
The project, running along the China-Laos railway through five provincial administrative regions in northern Laos, will build 20 circuits of 115kV transmission lines with a total length of 268 km and extend 11 bays in 10 substations, according to Xinhua News Agency.
It is designed to supply power from Electricite du Laos (EDL)’s grid to 10 railway traction substations.
Laos-China Power Investment Company, co-sponsored by China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and the EDL, was established in November in Vientiane to invest, construct and operate the power supply project.
Xinhua quoted the CSG as saying that the project is required to be completed by the end of March 2021 to guarantee the scheduled operation of the China-Laos railway in December of the same year.
The China-Laos Railway is a strategic docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ strategy to convert itself from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.
The 414.332-km railway, with 198-km tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.
The Chinese government subsidize 70 percent of the cost of the railway, while Laos pays for the remaining 30 percent with loans from Chinese financial institutions.
In March, it was reported that the construction was almost half complete, putting it on schedule to begin service in December 2021.