Laos-China joint venture to power new railway

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and Electricite du Laos (EDL) have teamed up to supply power for the China-Laos railway with a ceremony held in Vientiane last week to announce the joint venture.

The new venture is officially known as the Laos-China Power Investment Company. Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Khammany Inthirath and Vice President of CSG, Bi Yaxiong, unveiled the joint venture together which was witnessed by Chinese Ambassador to Laos, Jiang Zaidong.

The joint venture will be co-sponsored by CSG Yunnan International Company (YNIC), a subsidiary of CSG, to conduct international power cooperation, and EDL.

The company’s establishment moves forward the power supply project for the China-Laos railway, the first build-operate-transfer (BOT) power grid project in Laos and a key to guaranteeing the scheduled operation of the railway and building a China-Laos community of shared destiny.

It is also a symbolic project in response to the Belt and Road Initiative to advance infrastructure connectivity.

Both China and Laos attach great importance to the power supply project. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit were in attendance at the signing ceremony on April 30, 2019, when CSG and EDL inked a shareholder’s agreement on the project for the railway.

The establishment of the Laos-China Power Investment Company is a substantial step towards the completion and operation of the project in March 2021.

The set-up of the Joint Preparatory Group for Laos State Power Transmission Company was announced at the same event.

The preparatory group will work on advancing the construction of an integrated backbone power transmission network in Laos, thereby promoting power grid connectivity between Laos and its neighbouring countries.

Representatives from the Lao Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Laos-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee, EDL, CSG, CSG YNIC and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Laos were also present at the ceremony. 

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