The Ministry of Energy and Mines has predicted that the demand for electricity in Laos will increase to 1,800MW during the period 2020-2025, up from supply of 1,222MW at present.
Northern Laos will require around 1,050MW, followed by the central region with 500MW, while the south will need 250MW, Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Khammany Inthirath told the media recently.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of senior government officials and provincial governors, he said electricity was a priority for the government in accelerating social and economic development.
The demand for electricity is increasing and today more households have access to energy which is improving their quality of life. The ministry will ensure that by 2025 the country is able to increase electricity generation and supply about 3,000MW to the domestic sector, he added.
The government is also expanding electricity generation for export.
Laos currently has 73 electricity generating sources with a total installed capacity of 9,531MW. These are able to produce 50,438 million kWh of electricity a year, Dr Khammany said when launching the first energy generator in Luang Prabang.
Electricity generating sources comprise 37 large hydropower plants, 25 small-sized power plants with a capacity of less than 15MW, a coal-fired power plant, and renewable energy sources.
The government is also installing more power transmission lines. There are currently more than 64,500 km of high, medium and low voltage power cables, as well as 71 electricity distribution stations, Dr Khammany said.
Continued development of the power grid will enable the supply of electricity to all main towns, provinces and districts in Laos, 90 percent of all villages and 95 percent of households, he added.
At present, Laos can generate almost 5,000MW for export, which will increase further when more hydropower plants become operational, including the Don Sahong and Nam Ou 1 plants.
Laos has signed electricity sales agreements with neighbouring countries Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and is discussing the possibility of more exports in the future, Dr Khammany added.