Govt speeds up power grid investments for electricity distribution in Laos

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Ministry of Energy and Mines has said that seven construction and installation projects related to the national power grid will be completed in the last three quarters of this year.

A recent report from the ministry noted that these seven projects will include two 230kV transmission lines with lengths of 86.4 km and 82 km in the provinces of Oudomxay and Bokeo, and one project in Huaphan with a length of 82 km.

Another five projects are for 115kV transmission lines in the provinces of Xayaboury (with a length of 90 km), Bokeo (50 km), Borikhamxay (33 km), and Vientiane (33.8 km).

Five construction and installation projects in different provinces and Vientiane were completed last year, including two 115kV transmission lines in Xayaboury, two 230kV transmission lines in Vientiane, Borikhamxay and Vientiane province, and one 230/115kV transmission line in Borikhamxay and Vientiane.

In the same year, the government also approved the development of five more power grid projects and they include one 115kV transmission line in Xayaboury, one 230/500kV transmission line in Vientiane and three 500kV transmission lines in the provinces of Savannakhet, Saravan and Khammuan.

So far, there are 62 substations that are under Electricite du Laos’ (EDL) management, including eleven 230/115kV transmission lines, fifty 22kV lines, and one T-off 230kV line. The power grid includes 500kV transmission lines with a length of 629 km, 230kV lines with a length of 3,557 km, 115kV lines with a length of 6,859.47 km, 22kV lines with a length of 32,088 km and 0.4kV lines with a length of 19,856 km.

Currently, there are many national power grid and substation development projects that are under construction. The government is investing millions of dollar on the projects to ensure that more families have access to electricity. The government expects to ensure that 95 percent of families nationwide can access electricity by next year, and authorities were able to cover more than 93 percent of families last year.

Recently, the government and a Chinese company broke ground for a transmission line project in Vientiane. The new 500kV and 230 kV transmission lines will be installed in Dongphosy village in Hadxaifong district to ensure more people in Vientiane have sufficient power now and in future. The new power lines will carry electricity from hydro-power dams for use in Vientiane and for sale to other countries. The project is managed by four districts in Vientiane - Pakngum, Xaythany, Xaysettha, and Hadxaifong.

When completed, the 500/230 kV transmission line project will support the nation’s electricity generation. The project will create a sustainable electricity supply for the development of Vientiane and increase the capacity of the national grid. This is an important project under the master plan, which aims to develop the electricity network in Laos until 2020 in order to provide adequate and sustainable electricity supply.

This project will also be a basic and important part of economic development in the south of Vientiane, and is essential for agriculture, industry, services and other sectors.

Currently, there are many families in some provinces that cannot access electricity, including those in Phongsaly, where only 66 percent of families can access energy, Huaphan (about 77 percent) and Xekong province (about 72 percent).

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