LAOS is developing a strategic plan to become the network centre for a regional electricity transmission system by 2025.
Director of the Energy Management Department under the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Sichard Boudshakittilath, recently detailed the plan during a workshop on Business Lessons for Power Industry Improvement.
To move this strategy forward, in 2017 Laos signed a tripartite electricity-trading agreement with Thailand and Malaysia in which Laos would sell 100MW of electricity to Malaysia using Thailand’s power transmission network.
In 2014, the government of Singapore also expressed interest in buying electricity from Laos via transmission lines in Malaysia and Thailand.
Under this plan, Laos expects to export 14,800MW of electricity annually to neighbouring countries by 2025.
Sichard said that within the next six years, Laos aims to export 9,000MW of electricity to Thailand, 5,000MW to Vietnam, 500MW to Myanmar, 200MW to Cambodia and to distribute 100MW to Malaysia.
Laos is currently in the process of setting up policy parameters and guidelines that will help modernise the energy industry.
A high quality, modern power grid that delivers renewable energy will be key to Laos achieving many of its sustainable development goals.
A Ministry of Energy and Mines’ report states that Laos has 61 hydropower plants with an installed capacity of 7,207MW which can collectively generate about 37,366kWh per year.
An additional 36 hydropower plants are currently at various stages of construction. With an average installed capacity of 4,184MW, these plants will add another 20,892kWh per year to the nation’s power grid.
These projects are all expected to be finished by the end of next year, meaning Laos will have about 100 hydropower plants. Collectively, these will have an average installed capacity of 13,062MW and will generate 66,944kWh per year.
Laos is expected to develop a further 10,000MW of electricity by next year. This will rise to an additional 20,000MW by 2030.
The ministry is also aiming for 98 per cent of all families in Laos to have access to electricity by 2025.