Benefits of Nam Ou River exploitation promotes Lao economy

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Remarkable advantages and benefits from the whole river basin exploitation of Nam Ou which promote local economic development present a gift for the 42nd anniversary of Lao National Day.

On December 20, 2017, Nam Ou River Basin Hydropower Co., Ltd (NOPC), a POWERCHINA Resource Co., Ltd (PRC) invested project with whole industrial chain integration strategy (Nam Ou hydropower phase I), will generate over one billion kWh of energy.
Total energy generated is 2.2 billion kWh since it became operational. Obvious benefits of the whole river basin development give outstanding contributions to local economic development, which is a generous gift on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of Lao National Day.

NOPC has actively responded to changes of the electricity market in Laos in 2017, carrying out investigations and analysing power grid structure, absorption and transmission ability.

NOPC also has overcome difficulties such as unbalanced watershed inflow, power generation absorption limits, and set up a good communication mechanism with the Lao government authorities and Electricite Du Laos (EDL) to generate more electricity.
To achieve the strategic target of building overseas electricity supply, the enterprise has been benchmarked against the highest international standards.

First, it has been guided by ITS (integration of two sides) to improve operational management. ITS power generation control and organisation mode is developing by building inner training and an expert-base system, carrying out joint inspection for the whole basin, labour, enterprise culture building, and joint activities.

Second, index control is leading to strengthened operational management. Comprehensive management index system includes the built hydropower station operation index system, hydropower station equipment status evaluation system, quality control and acceptance system, and technical support and safeguard system. There is a focus on power generation index and work team index management, and detailed assessment to generating capacity, two-ticket acceptability, equipment default eliminating etc.

Third, safety is enhanced by means of two-ticket-three-control system, monthly safety production arrangement, and monthly quality activities, strengthening safety inspections and hidden troubleshooting.

Fourth, enhancement of equipment maintenance and shortcomings elimination guarantees reliability of the power stations.
Fifth, internal training improves personnel quality, and a group of trainers are selected among staff, including eight specialties, such as irrigation, electrics, mechanics, and steel structure. Training is properly arranged.

Sixth, standardisation is an important venture for NOPC to improve operational management. Electricity production management systems suitable for overseeing river basin wide management are built, covering safety, operations, equipment, overhauls, technical specifications, irrigation, planning, villagers’ resettlement, statistics, comprehensive management etc.

Entering November 2017, with much heavy rain in the Nam Ou basin, NOPC took advantage of the flood force to keeps pace with flood control and electricity generation, and recorded the achievements. The following ventures have been adopted.
First, NOPC takes hold of the full reservoir to generate electricity while holding back flood waters.Second, NOPC carefully analyses power consumption in Laos, overcomes lower loads during cool weather, and discusses with EDL for proper load dispatch.Third, makes water forecasts by scientific analysis, lowers reservoir level, uses each cubic of water for electricity generation, with less spillage.
Fourth, based on the principle of integrated dispatch and sub-management mode, properly assigns water resources. Fifth, take seriously its duty towards discipline and guarantees those who on duty are in good mental status, carefully supervised with standard operations, safety and stability.

During the present dry season in Laos, NOPC enhances reservoir dispatch, water level control, and unit overhaul, continuously carrying out electricity generation index management to generate more power in the dry season.

Nam Ou River cascade hydropower project is a unique project with whole of basin integrated planning, invested and developed by BOT mode by POWERCHINA.

The project is designed with 1,272MW capacity by seven cascade hydropower stations in the river basin, and developed by two phases.
The first phase project is designed with 54MW capacity, including Nam Ou 2, Nam Ou 5 and Nam Ou 6 stations. The first phase project started construction on October 1st, 2012, and all units were put into operation by end of April 2016. Completed by December 31, 2016, the project entered into COD since January 1st, 2017, with 29 years of BOT.