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Laos steps up electricity trade with neighbouring countries [free access]

June 5, 2019

In order to boost cooperation in the energy sector, the Lao government has approved of conducting a feasibility study on electricity trading and hydropower exchanges with its neighbouring countries.


According to the Lao Ministry for Energy and Mines, the country has agreed to export 3,000 MW of electricity to Vietnam by 2025 and more than 5,000 MW by 2030. At present, it exports just over 300 MW and expects to supply 1,000 MW by 2020. The government is currently conducting negotiations on trading power with Vietnam and expects to sign an agreement shortly.


On the other hand, the country has also agreed to double its export to Thailand to 9,000 MW, which currently stands at 4,260 MW; with a gradual increase to 7,000 MW by 2020 and 9,000 MW by 2025. Both the countries have also agreed to sign electricity trading pacts for four projects, of which installed capacity of 2,357 MW is expected to be sold by the end of 2019.


The country has also agreed to and is currently able to export 100 MW of electricity to Malaysia via Thailand. Moreover, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia have also partnered to study the increase in capacity to 300 MW for electricity provided to Malaysia.


The Lao government has also signed an agreement to export 195 MW of electricity to Cambodia starting by 2020, and is at present, negotiating with the Cambodian government to sell more than 1,800 MW.


In addition, the government has signed an agreement to cooperate with China on hydropower, especially the development of 230 kV and 500 kV national transmission line systems to supply more electricity and ensure future quality.


In another development, the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines is also focusing on cutting its electricity prices, to make it affordable for local residents and businesses.