Nam Ngiep 1 hydro plant starts impounding water

BORIKHAMXAY (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project (NNP1) began impounding water in its re-regulation reservoir on May 15 with electricity generation scheduled to start before the mandated date in early 2019. 

This will be after all the electrical and mechanical installation is completed and the 115 kV transmission line is built by Electricite du Laos.

The hydropower project will have installed capacity of 290MW and is under construction in Borikhamxay and Xaysomboun provinces. The project consists of the construction of two dams and two powerhouses along the Ngiep River in Borikhamxay province. It is the smaller of the two dams which has now been completed.

According to project staff, impounding is expected to last for 10 days. During this period not less than the prescribed minimum riparian release will be allowed to flow downstream with the water level in the reservoir controlled to rise by about one metre per day unless a natural rain event upstream causes extreme flood conditions.

After completion of impounding the water will have reached the top of the labyrinth weir, 179 metres above sea level. After that water will continuously overflow from the re-regulating reservoir, with flows proportional to the natural inflow into the river.Some minimal disturbance to the flow and the water level of the Ngiep River downstream of the re-regulating dam is expected during this short period of impounding.

“The Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project is one of the priority projects of the Lao government. It is expected to contribute to poverty alleviation once it starts to generate revenue for the government from the sale of electricity,” Governor of Borikhamxay province Dr Khongkeo Xaysongkham said at the impounding ceremony.

“I would like to congratulate and thank everyone who has worked tirelessly towards this milestone. This is another remarkable achievement and one step closer to completion of the construction of the project,” Managing Director of the Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company Limited, Mr Yoshihiro Yamabayashi, said.

Construction of the project started in late 2014 and, as of the end of April 2017, about 68 percent by value of work was completed, with all critical parts of the works on, or ahead of schedule. Progress is expected to be 90 percent by value by the end of 2017 and substantial early completion of construction of the project is planned by August 2018.

The project expects to begin generating electricity in late 2018 or early 2019. About 95 percent of this power will be exported to Thailand, the remainder being used for domestic consumption.

The project expects to generate more than US$600 million in direct revenue and other indirect benefits to the Lao government during its 27-year concession period, after which ownership will be transferred to the Lao government.



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