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Laos Expects to Have 100 Hydropower Plants by 2020

Laos has expected to operate 100 hydropower plants with combined installed generation capacity of 28,000 MW and annual power output of about 77,000 million KWh by 2020.

The Xayaburi dam, as seen from above in early 2017 (Thien Y, The Mekong Eye)

By Petsamone Phomnuny

Vientiane, Laos, July 12, 2017

Lao News Agency

Laos has expected to operate 100 hydropower plants with combined installed generation capacity of 28,000 MW and annual power output of about 77,000 million KWh by 2020. 

Some 85 percent of the power production in the country will be exported.

Laos currently has 46 operational hydropower plants with combined generation capacity of 6,444 MW and annual power output of about 35,000 million KWh. There are 54 hydropower plants under construction across the country. These have been scheduled to be completed by 2020.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines held a meeting on Jul 4 under presidency of Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath in the presence of its staff across the country to brainstorm the policy draft of electricity development plan.

Minister Khammany said that currently 92 percent of households across the country have an access to electricity and it is expected that the percentage of households with electricity access will reach95by 2020.

In 2005, Laos had nine hydropower plants with an installed generation capacity of 679 MW and annual power output of about 3, 236 million KWh, and45 percent of households across the country had accessed electricity.

Laos sells electricity mainly to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Thailand is its main export market, purchasing up to 10,000 MW, while Vietnam buys about 5,000 MW per year.

In addition, Laos is expected to export 100MW of power to Singapore via power grids in Thailand and Malaysia and 200 MW to neighbouring Myanmar by 2020.

The policy of the government is to develop its electricity industry to make sure that it can contribute to the socio-economic development of the country, and to promote foreign investment in the hydropower industry, Khammany added.

The government also has an ambitious plan to develop the country as the ‘battery of Asean’ due to its highly advantage location for hydropower development, he said.

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