VIENTIANE, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The economy of Laos will grow 7 percent next year thanks to the growth of energy sector, Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Souphanh Keomixay told the parliament.
Industrial sector will grow by 8.9 percent and will contribute 37.2 percent of GDP, and the energy sector will undergo considerable growth, with several hydropower plants set to come online and begin energy generation, Souphanh was quoted by local Vientiane Times on Thursday as saying.
Many power plants are now fully operational, including the Hongsa Mine Mouth Power Project that has installed capacity of 1,787MW. At least eight other major power plants will come online soon, including the Xekaman 1 with 322MW, Nam Ou 5 with 240MW and the Nam Lik and Nam Phay hydro plants, among others, he said.
The Lao government is promoting development of power plants for local supply in a bid to cut electricity imports.
According to Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath, Laos had built 38 power plants at a cost of more than 81.7 trillion Lao kip (over 10 billion U.S. dollars) with total installed capacity of 6,265MW as of 2015. In combination, they can generate 33.315 billion kWh of electricity a year.
At present, over 90 percent of Laos have electricity for use in their homes and businesses since the government attempted to expand the electricity grid. The government has set a goal to provide access to electricity for at least 98 percent of the population by the end of 2030.