Laos to sell electricity to Myanmar: official

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-16 11:55:18|Editor: Lifang
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VIENTIANE, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Laos and Myanmar are mulling an electricity agreement to empower Laos' development needs, local daily Vientiane Times quoted a senior Lao official as saying on Tuesday.

Office Head of the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines, Daovong Phonekeo, told Vientiane Times that the two sides will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this week, which will allow Myanmar authorities to initiate a feasibility study.

"Myanmar wants to purchase about 100-200 MW, but that will depend on the results of their feasibility study," Daovong said.

"At present it's not clear when we will start selling electricity under this program and at what price we will sell it."

Daovong said Laos would supply electricity to Myanmar through its northern power grids. "If everything progresses as planned, we expect to start selling electricity to Myanmar by the end of this year or the beginning of next year."

Laos currently sells only 4-5 MW to Myanmar, which is a very small amount, and the two nations aim to increase it in the near future.

According to a report from Myanmar media on Saturday, Myanmar has adopted a National Electrification Plan under which it is planned that power will be available nationwide by 2030.

Laos has a huge potential in hydropower, which can further drive economic growth. The country currently has 46 power plants with an installed capacity of 6,757 MW generating about 35,608 GWh of electricity annually, said the Vientiane Times on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Laos is expected to generate 10,000 MW of electricity by 2020 and this will rise further to 20,000 MW by 2030, which will be far exceeding domestic demand.

Currently most of Laos' electricity is sold to Thailand.

In September, Laos signed a tripartite electricity-trading agreement with Thailand and Malaysia to sell 100 MW of electricity to Malaysia using Thailand's power transmission network. The delivery will begin on August 1, 2018.