Laos expects to maximize electricity generation potential

October 12, 2020

A new transmission line firm that Lao and Chinese enterprises have jointly agreed to establish is expected to maximize Laos' electricity generation potential.

Lao state-owned Electricite du Laos (EDL) and China Southern Power Grid (CSG) signed the shareholders' agreement in Lao capital Vientiane in September to jointly establish Electricite du Laos Transmission Company Limited (EDLT).

With EDLT's plan to install 230kV high-voltage transmission lines, the grid, once operational, will be capable of transmitting larger volumes of power, thereby enabling large hydropower plants to increase their generation.

The current lower voltage grid with limited transmission capability has prevented larger power plants from running at full production potential, especially during the rainy season.

"Some large hydropower plants couldn't run at full capacity due to limited transmission capacity. We just release water downstream wastefully," local daily Vientiane Times on Monday quoted Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Daovong Phonekeo as saying.

Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthilath said in the signing ceremony for the joint venture company that EDLT was significant in implementing Laos' strategic plan on electricity system development, noting it would maximize production potential and reduce production costs.

Currently, there are 78 hydropower plants with a combined installed capacity of 9,972 MW in operation, which greatly exceeds domestic consumption needs.

In addition to the 78 hydropower plants, there are also a coal-fired power plant, four biomass projects and six solar power projects in Laos.