Laos currently exports more than 6,423MW to other countries, mainly neighbouring countries, a senior official has said.
Addressing the National Assembly recently, Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Daovong Phonekeo said several power plants are under construction that will generate electricity for sale to neighbouring countries and other ASEAN member states.
However, billions of dollars are still needed to develop the energy sector in order to boost exports, Dr Daovong said.
At present, Laos has 86 sources of energy with a combined installed capacity of more than 10,400MW, of which more than 80 per cent is sourced from hydropower dams.
Power generated by eight plants with installed capacity of 5,421MW is currently being sold to Thailand. Another two power plants with installed capacity of 982MW are expected to become operational and generate electricity for sale to Thailand in 2027.
The government also believes that four more power plants with installed capacity of 3,734MW will be up and running after 2027. Laos and Thailand have agreed to revise their memorandum of understanding, which could result in Thailand buying more electricity from Laos.
Meanwhile, electricity generated by another three power plants with a capacity of 572MW is being sold to Vietnam. In addition, power purchase agreements have been signed on the export of electricity from six power plants with a capacity of 519MW to Vietnam.
Laos and Vietnam are also preparing to sign agreements on the sale of electricity generated by another 13 power plants with a capacity of 874MW.
Laos currently sells 320MW of electricity to Cambodia and plans to increase this to 600MW in 2025-2026 and to 1,800MW in 2026-2027.
Laos presently exports only 10MW of electricity to Myanmar but plans to increase this to 100MW by 2023 and to 300MW in 2025.
Laos also sells 100MW to Malaysia and will increase this to about 300MW in the near future.
Negotiations are also ongoing with other ASEAN nations on the sale of 100MW of renewable hydropower to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia using existing interconnectors under an import trial.
Over the past five years, 53 hydropower dams have been built and put into operation with total installed capacity of 4,723MW.
Electricity is a huge revenue earner for Laos, especially through exports to neighbouring countries and ASEAN member countries.
The government has pledged to tap the potential of the energy sector, particularly the development of hydropower, solar and wind power, so that more electricity can be sold to neighbouring countries.
From 2021-2025, Laos plans to generate 1,807MW of electricity, with hydropower accounting for 57 per cent of the total, coal-fired power 19 per cent, and solar power 24 per cent.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK