VIENTIANE, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government has assured that the country will earn increased revenues from the energy and mines in 2018 on the back of the sector's continued growth.
Laos currently has 53 hydropower plants with installed capacity of 7,082 MW that are able to generate 37,028 million kWh of electricity a year.
"Another 47 plants are under construction or about to start construction and all are expected to be functioning in 2020 to 2021. Then the country will comprise 100 hydropower plants with an installed capacity of 13,062 MW and be able to generate 66,944 million kWh a year," local Vientiane Times on Friday quoted Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath as saying.
"However, around 85 percent of the total will be exported," he said.
As development and the economy expands, Laos still needs more electricity for domestic supply especially in special and specific economic zones, the Laos-China railway project, mining and processing, energy construction projects and SMEs promotion as well as infrastructure development, rural development and communication projects, said the Lao minister.
The Lao government has also signed cooperation agreements for feasibility studies in electricity trading with neighboring countries Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Laos' feasibility study agreement for electricity trading with Vietnam is for about 5,000 MW and at present the country exports around 250 MW annually which is expected to increase to 1,000 MW in 2020, 3,000 MW in 2025 and 5,000 by 2030, he noted.
Laos also agreed to sell 100 MW of electricity to Malaysia via Thailand and is now able to supply 100 percent under a model project for other Asean countries which includes plans for sales to Singapore by 2020.
"At present, 95 percent of households around the country have access to electricity and 88 percent of villages are using electricity," he added.