Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laos pledges to diversify energy sources to minimise imports

Laos pledges to diversify energy sources to minimise imports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
More than 91 per cent of the electricity consumed in Laos comes from hydropower plants. EDL-GEN

Laos pledges to diversify energy sources to minimise imports

Lao’s government has vowed to diversify its sources of energy by developing solar, wind power and coal-fired power plants to address the electricity shortage in the dry season.

These developments will support government efforts to increase the amount of energy exported and minimise the amount of electricity re-imported from neighbouring countries in the dry season.

Addressing the National Assembly recently, Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Daovong Phonekeo said Laos has huge potential to produce energy from hydro, solar and wind-powered plants for sale to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

As of 2020, Laos had 82 sources of energy with a combined installed capacity of more than 10,000MW. Of the total, 80.4 per cent comes from hydropower and 18.6 per cent from coal-fired power plants.

“About 91.49 per cent of the electricity consumed in Laos comes from hydropower plants,” Dr Daovong said, adding that diversification of power sources will enable Laos to ensure energy security.

“From 2021-2025, we plan to produce 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,” he added.

By 2030, it is planned that Laos will produce another 5,559MW of electricity. Of the total, 77.59 per cent will come from hydropower and the rest will come from solar, wind and coal-fired power plants.

Laos’ capacity for solar power is expected to range from 10,000MW to 15,000MW, while wind power potential is estimated at around 100,000MW.

Laos and Thailand exchange electricity via Electricite du Laos (EdL) and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). When Laos has a shortage of electricity because of population or business growth, it can source electricity from Thailand through its transmission lines.

The main challenge is that about 1,500MW of potential electricity generation is wasted by hydropower stations during the high-flow wet season, but Laos has to import more electricity from Thailand in the dry season. The price EDL pays for this imported power makes it almost twice as expensive as imported electricity sourced from Egat.

“The main reason we want to produce more electricity from coal-fired power is to minimise the amount of reimported power and address the electricity shortage in the dry season,” Dr Daovong said.

Earlier in the year, he told Vientiane Times that two coal-fired power plants are planned for Xekong province. These plants will become operational and begin transmitting electricity to Cambodia in 2025.

The first power plant will be built by Phonesack Group Co Ltd in Kaleum district, with installed capacity of 1,800MW. The second power plant will be built in Lamam district by a Chinese company which plans to invest more than $1 billion in the project, and will have installed capacity of 700MW.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group