Four Asean nations - Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand - held talks yesterday in Vientiane to consider a plan that would see Laos export electricity to Singapore via transmission lines in Malaysia and Thailand. Senior officials from the four countries met on the sidelines of the Special Asean Senior Officials Meeting on Energy (Special SOME) taking place in the Lao capital from January 12-13.
Malaysia has pledged to take responsibility for technical affairs relating to the envisioned project, Director General of the Energy Policy and Planning Department, Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines, Dr Daovong Phonekeo, told local media.
Yesterday's meeting discussed the commercial feasibility of the project and related procedures, the relevant laws of the four countries involved, and the possible delegation of work among each country.
The outcomes of the meeting will be submitted to a ministers' meeting that will be convened on the sidelines of the Asean Energy Ministers Meeting (AEMM), which Malaysia will host later this year.
Officials from the four countries met late last year to discuss the project when they agreed that realisation of the venture was highly feasible, Dr Daovong said, given that the necessary infrastructure and facilities were already available.
Laos' electricity transmission line is connected with Thailand's, while the Thai network is connected with Malaysia's and the Malaysian transmission line is connected to Singapore.
“The four countries noted that it [the project] is feasible,” Dr Daovong told local media while attending the SOME meeting.
He added that further talks will be held to discuss the project in greater detail.
Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Mr Viraphonh Viravong said previously that Singapore agreed in principle to purchase 100MW of electricity from Laos as a pilot scheme, while Thailand and Malaysia offered their support for the envisioned project.
Laos sells electricity at a unit price of just over 7 US cents per kwh to Thailand and just over 6 US cents per kwh to Vietnam and Cambodia, while the unit price in Singapore is about 20 US cents per kwh, according to Mr Viraphonh.
In recent years, electricity has been the main revenue generator for Laos. Total income generated from electricity sales in fiscal year 2013-14 hit more than US$880.9 million (more than 7.100 trillion kip), a remarkable increase compared to the year before, according to a recent report.
Of the total, income generated from electricity exports amounting to more than 11,332 million kwh reached US$535.47 million (more than 4.316 trillion kip), an increase of 6.62 percent compared to the year before.
As of October last year, Laos had 25 operational hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of about 3,230MW, exceeding domestic consumption needs of about 1,000MW.
Laos has strong potential to build hydroelectric plants with a combined installed capacity of about 28,000MW, including the existing dams.
ຄັດມາຈາກບົດຂ່າວໜັງສືພິມ VientianeTime ສະບັບວັນທີ່ 14 ມັງກອນ 2015