Second phase of Nam Ou hydropower project kicks off
The Nam Ou River Basin Hydropower Project has launched its second phase of construction, after completing the Nam Ou 2, 5 and 6 hydropower plants during the first phase.
The opening ceremony for the second phase, comprising the Nam Ou 1, 3, 4 and 7 dams, took place in Vientiane on Thursday.
The hydropower development project on the Nam Ou cascade is located in Phongsaly and Luang Prabang provinces.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mr Somdy Duangdy, Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Khammany Inthilath, General Manager of Powerchina Resources Ltd., Mr Du Chunguo, and the Consul General of China in Luang Prabang province Mr Li Baoguang attended the ceremony. Other officials from the government and business sectors were also present.
The project includes seven dams, with a projected total capacity of 1,156 MW and an annual energy output of 5,017 GWh, according to Powerchina Resources Ltd.
Construction of the seven dams is divided into two phases, with an estimated total cost of US$2.8 billion.
In the first stage of the project, the Nam Ou 2, 5 and 6 dams will be developed. Their eventual total capacity is estimated at 540 MW, with an annual energy output of 2,187 GWh.
Construction began in October, 2012, and the first dam began operating in December 2015.
In the second stage of the project, the Nam Ou 1, 3, 4, and 7 power stations will be developed. Their projected total capacity is 732 MW, with an annual energy output of 2,830 GWh.
Construction of phase 2 begins this month and will end in 2020.
The concession period is 29 years after the project begins commercial operation. After that time, the project will be handed over to the government.
Upgrading the power grid, transmitting power across northern Laos, and nationwide interconnectivity will be easier when all the dams are built. Power shortages will also be eased, according to the company.
During the ceremony, Dr Khammany said the Nam Ou hydropower project is endorsed by the government. The purpose of the project is to develop basic infrastructure and to eradicate poverty among the Lao people, including those in Luang Prabang and Phongsaly provinces.
The project will also spur socio-economic development in the two provinces.
Dr Khammany called for the project developer, engineers and consultants to monitor the project closely, to ensure it meets international standards and is completed on time.
The developer should also create jobs, generate income for relocated people, and improve their standard of living, he added.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update May 3, 2016)