Energy sector powering growth in Laos

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-08 13:14:15|Editor: Xiaoxia
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VIENTIANE, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Laos' energy sector is set to boost its installed capacity to about 9,152.9 megawatts (MW) in 2019, once 12 more power plants kickstart commercial operations.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the 12 projects, which are currently under construction, will have an additional installed capacity of 1,959.94 MW. Of this, 1,575 MW will be sold to Thailand and the rest 384.94 MW will be used for local consumption, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.

So far Laos has 57 power plants (1MW and larger) that are commercially operational with an installed capacity of about 7,193 MW, which generate about 36,935.23 GWh yearly.

The 57 plants include 49 hydropower plants, a lignite plant, five solar plants and two plants that generate electricity from waste.

The 57 plants include 10 that are the responsibility of state-owned Electricite du Laos (EDL), with an installed capacity of about 211.70 MW that can generate about 831,42 GWh annually.

Another 10 projects are under EDL-Generation Public Company (EDL-GEN), with 699MW of installed capacity that can generate about 3,145.5GWh annually.

The remaining 37 projects belong to independent power producers (IPP), and have an installed capacity of 6,282.40MW, and can generate about 32,958.31 GWh annually.

Laos expects to generate about 33,874 million kWh worth about 16,575 billion kip (some 1.9 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019. It aims to export about 25,625 million kWh worth about 1.45 billion U.S. dollars, while local consumption will be about 6,287 million kWh.

Export markets include Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Thailand requires about 9,000MW by 2030, of which Laos can currently generate 4,000 MW, which will rise to 7,000 MW in 2020. Vietnam needs 5,000 MW, of which Laos can currently generate 300 MW, which will increase to 1,000 MW in 2020.

Laos exported 100 MW to Malaysia and will export about 300 MW in 2020. It exported 10 MW to Cambodia which will rise to about 200 MW in 2020. It also supplies about 5 MW to Myanmar and expects to push that up to 100 MW in 2022.

The energy sector has upgraded its installed and generating capacities with the completion of many new power plants in recent years. Most of the investment comes from foreign companies who make power purchase agreements with specific markets or buyers.