Nam Che 1 hydropower plant officially opened

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Nam Che 1 hydropower project in Xaysomboun province was pronounced officially open at a grand ceremony held in Vientiane on Wednesday, after construction of the plant began in 2017.  

The ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr Khammany Inthirath.

In his address, Dr Khammany said the hydro plant was another step for electricity development in Laos and was an environmentally-friendly and sustainable project.

“The plant is also very important for the economic development of Xaysomboun province, especially Thathom district,” he added.

The developer - Nam Che 1 Hydropower Company Limited - is a joint venture between the B.Grimm Power (Lao) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the B.Grimm Power Public Co., Ltd., which is a leading energy company with investments in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and extensive experience in the construction, operation and maintenance of power plants, and Daosavanh Co., Ltd. Daosavanh is a leading engineering company in Laos with long-time experience in the construction of public utilities, hydropower plants and irrigation projects.

The Nam Che 1 is a small hydro plant designed as a run-of-river scheme using water from the Nam Che river. It is located in Namlong village, Thathom district, Xaysomboun province. The Nam Che flows from the north to the Nam Ngiep and Mekong rivers.

The plant consists of a weir and power intake structure. The weir is located upstream of the Nam Che river where water will be conveyed through the water intake. The power intake on the dam’s right bank will divert flow from the reservoir to the powerhouse through the underground waterway.

There are two Francis turbines of the horizontal type with an auxiliary and each unit can produce 8.4MW.  With a total installed capacity of 16.8MW, the power output flows through a 115kV transmission line to the Tha Vieng substation over a distance of about 15 km. Global Hydro from Austria provided the turbines and auxiliary, including a generator.

The Nam Che 1 Hydropower Company Limited has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Electricite du Laos (EDL) with a contracted capacity of 15MW, providing electrical power for Laos. The Commercial Operation Date was June 1, 2019.

The Nam Che 1 Hydropower Company Limited is partnering with the Thathom Women’s Union to train women in new garment designs and the use of natural dyes. The company is also arranging for grass to be grown in Namlong and Samkothong villages to help improve the quality of life, and is funding the construction of a primary school in Samkothong village. 

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