The World Bank has approved a Power Distribution Improvement Project to increase the capacity and efficiency of the domestic electricity grid in Laos and strengthen financial management at the state electricity company.
According to a World Bank report, the state electricity company, Electricite du Laos (EDL), has lacked resources for system maintenance and upgrades, leaving it unable to invest in the equipment and systems needed to address growing demand, deteriorating infrastructure, and the seasonal imbalance in Laos’ electricity supply.
“Financial losses sustained in the power sector over the years have contributed to economic instability and national debt,” said World Bank Country Manager for Laos Alex Kremer. “This project will help EDL face two immediate and connected challenges: meeting current demand for power and improving its financial situation.”
The new project will support investments that will upgrade EDL’s substations to increase power flow, thereby increasing revenue and reducing losses. The high rate of returns expected from this investment will improve EDL’s financial situation and improve its quality of service. Investments will also be made in monitoring and protection systems to improve the robustness of grid operations.
To strengthen EDL’s financial management, corporate information technology upgrades will integrate internal systems to provide more complete data, supporting the utility’s management of operations and finances. These enhancements will speed up the preparation of financial statements and audits, improving the transparency of financial data and information for stakeholders.