Laos to expand power grid network

2017-01-09 15:40:30 GMT2017-01-09 23:40:30(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

VIENTIANE, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Lao government plans to install 54 more electricity transmission lines and build another 16 substations by 2020.

Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath has revealed the plan recently, saying the government recognizes the need to install more transmission lines and substations to deal with the increase in energy generation.

At present, there are 53,000 kilometers of high voltage electricity transmission lines and 53 substations, Lao state-run Vientiane Times reported on Monday. High voltage transmission lines connect with neighboring countries, including 14 lines that transmit power to Thailand, two to Vietnam, one to China, two to Cambodia, and one more to Myanmar.

Lao provinces in border areas also have 22kV transmission lines that connect with neighboring countries to facilitate the purchase, sale and exchange of electricity, said Khammany, adding that Laos is focusing on expanding the electricity network into rural areas to spur development and wipe out poverty among ethnic groups.

At present, almost 92 percent of households nationwide have permanent access to electricity, while electricity exports have increased four-fold since 2010 and are rising each year, he added.

Laos is also considering renewable energy sources such as solar power, biomass, and wind turbines. As many as 1.15 percent of all families across the Southeast Asian country are using solar power, Khammany said.

Along with the construction of more transmission lines and substations, Laos also plans to build more hydropower plants by 2020.

There are currently 42 operational power plants in Laos with installed capacity of 6,391MW. They generate about 33,822.4 GWh annually for local consumption and mainly for export.

The number of power plants will increase from 42 to 50 as the government and private energy developers complete the construction of new power plants that will soon start to generate electricity. Enditem