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Laos will transmit electricity to Cambodia in 2025

Rural electrification. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

VIENTIANE, Feb 6, 2021, Xinhua. Construction of two coal-fired power plants will begin at the end of 2021 in Xekong province in the southeast of Laos, and will begin transmitting electricity to Cambodia in 2025, The Star reported.

Officials say these plants will become operational and begin transmitting electricity to Cambodia in 2025 based on an agreement signed between the developers and the Lao government.

Local daily Vientiane Times on Friday (Feb 5) quoted Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Daovong Phonekeo as saying that the first power plant will be built by Phonesack Group Company Limited in Kaleum district of Xekong province, with installed capacity of 1,800 MW.

“The company will invest about 3 to 4 billion U.S. dollars in the power plant, including the construction of power lines to transmit electricity to Cambodia,” he said, adding that the transmission line would be 200 km in length.

The second power plant will be built in Lamam district by a Chinese company which plans to invest more than 1 billion U.S. dollars in the project, which will have installed capacity of 700 MW.

Daovong said, based on the agreement, the Chinese company was to supply 600 MW to Cambodia. However, the company wants to ensure a sustainable supply of energy to the buyer so has decided to increase the installed capacity to 700 MW.

The Chinese company will not build transmission lines but will partner with Lao state-owned Electricite du Laos (EDL) in the export of power to Cambodia.

“Cambodia will buy electricity from our power plants for 7.3 U.S. cents per kWh,” the deputy minister said.

When asked about the amount of coal present in the two districts to supply the power plants, Daovong said it was sufficient to supply the two plants over the concession period of 25 years.

More surveys will be carried out to locate coal seams in other areas as alternative sources of supply.

Governor of Xekong province, Leklay Sivilay, told the daily that Xekong has huge potential to produce energy for export, which will generate income for local people and drive economic growth in the province.

He said the government will take into account the need to balance power plant development and environmental protection, and ensure that power plants benefit local communities and help to improve livelihoods in the area.

The Lao government will learn from experiences gained during the operation of the Hongsa coal-fired power plant, the largest energy-generating plant in Laos, when building the new coal-fired power plants in southern Laos. Laos is looking to increase electricity exports to neighboring countries including Vietnam and Cambodia.

The 260 MW Don Sahong hydropower project in Khong district, southern Laos’ Champassak province, is already transmitting electricity to Cambodia’s Stung Treng province.

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