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World Bank to Support Improvements to Lao Electricity Grid

Source: Vientiane Times

The World Bank has approved a US$51-million Power Distribution Improvement Project to increase the capacity and efficiency of Laos’ electricity grid, and to strengthen financial management at the state electricity company.

The state electricity company, Electricité du Laos (EDL), lacks the necessary resources for system maintenance and upgrades, leaving it unable to invest in the equipment and systems needed to address growing demand, deteriorating infrastructure, and the seasonal imbalance in Laos’ electricity supply.

“Financial losses sustained in the power sector over the years have contributed to economic instability and national debt,” said World Bank Country Manager for the Lao PDR, Alex Kremer.

“This project will help EDL face two immediate and connected challenges: meeting current demand for power and improving its financial situation.”

According to the World Bank, the project will support investments that will upgrade EDL’s substations to increase power flow, thereby increasing revenue and reducing losses.

The high rate of returns expected from this investment will improve EDL’s financial situation and improve its quality of service. Investments will also be made in monitoring and protection systems to improve the robustness of grid operations.

To strengthen EDL’s financial management, corporate information technology upgrades will integrate internal systems to provide more complete data, supporting the utility’s management of operations and finances.

These enhancements will speed up the preparation of financial statements and audits, improving the transparency of financial data and information for stakeholders.