Laos to export 20,000 MW of electricity by 2030

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos’ electricity exports to neighbouring countries and Asean states are expected to increase to about 20,000 MW between 2020 and 2030.

Electricity is considered a huge revenue earner for Laos, especially through exports to neighbouring countries and Asean states such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore.

Electricity is exported from Laos to Asean countries through Thailand by means of a transmission line. The power is first supplied to Malaysia and then sent through a Malaysian transmission line to Singapore, according to updated information on the Lao PDR Trade Portal website. 

Demand for electricity in Laos grew last year due to the increase in the population and the number of factories. In 2019, domestic consumption was 1,222MW, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines has said consumption is expected to increase by 1,800MW between 2020 and 2025.  

The ministry and Electricite du Laos plan to generate enough electricity to meet increasing domestic demand. They will take steps to provide enough electricity for household consumption, special economic zones, industrial zones, railways, express roads, and processing and heavy industries around the country.

Laos has the potential to export power to neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar, and to Malaysia and Singapore by integrating transmission lines and distribution systems for electricity deals and exchanges.

The integration of power transmission lines with neighbouring countries is an important step for electricity exports from second to third countries, and Laos is the first country in Asean to initiate such a step.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Laos will be able to generate about 20,000MW of electricity from 2020-30.

During this period, the Thai government expects to import about 9,000MW of electricity from Laos, Cambodia about 6,000MW, Vietnam about 5,000MW, Myanmar about 300MW and Malaysia about 300MW. Singapore is currently engaged in trade negotiations for electricity imports.

According to the Import and Export Department of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the value of electricity exports from January to October 2019 was about US$1,066 million.

The largest importers were Thailand (more than US$1,010 million), Vietnam (US$46 million) and Cambodia (US$8 million). 

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