Nam Ngum 1 hydropower project unit 7-8 officially launched

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Nam Ngum 1 hydropower extension project unit 7-8 was officially launched following three years of construction.

An inauguration ceremony for the Nam Ngum 1 hydropower extension project unit 7-8 took place on Monday in Keo-oudom district, Vientiane province.

Attending the ceremony were Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Khammany Inthirath; Vientiane provincial Governor Mr Vidong Sayasone; the Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy to Laos, Mr Wang Qihui; EDL Managing Director, Mr Boun-oum Syvanhpheng; and Vice President of Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC), Mr Xu Peng.

The Nam Ngum 1 hydropower extension is an important project in the country’s power development master plan until 2020.

The project will supply electricity for Vientiane and Vientiane province, said Dr Khammany at the ceremony. It will also generate revenue and jobs and improve the living conditions of local people, he added.

Dr Khammany urged local authorities and developers to continue to support and maintain the project.

DEC and Electricite du Laos (EDL) signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Nam Ngum 1 extension project unit 7-8 in 2013. 

This particular extension officially began in 2015 and was successfully completed in April this year, said Mr Xu Peng.

“Our team paid close attention to the construction to ensure high quality and safety and to ensure that electricity is generated in an effective manner,” he said.

Mr Xu Peng explained that DEC has been involved in the construction of seven hydropower plants in Laos, with a total installed capacity of 320MW.

The Nam Ngum 1 hydropower extension was the first EPC project in which the company partnered with EDL.

The success of this project is in line with China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, he added.

As one of the most important state-owned enterprise groups concerning the national economy, Dongfang Electric Corporation is also one of the largest power generation equipment manufacturers and power plant engineering contractors in the world, said Mr Wang Qihui.

“I hope DEC will continue to deepen its pragmatic cooperation with the Lao government and enterprises relying on its rich experience in the international market, professional engineering management and strong ability in financing,” he said.

The Nam Ngum 1 hydropower extension project unit 7-8 has a combined installed capacity of 80MW and generating capacity of 59 million kWh per year.

The project, worth more than US$122 million, received a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and was carried out by the Dongfang Electric Corporation, said Mr Boun-oum.

Besides the construction of unit 7-8, DEC also built a bridge across the Nam Ngum river, he added.

The success of this project will increase the installed capacity to 235MW at the Nam Ngum 1 hydropower plant, said Mr Boun-oum.

On the same occasion, Dr Khammany Inthirath, Mr Vidong Xayasone, Mr Wang Qihui, Mr Boun-oum Syvanhpheng, Mr Xu Peng and high-level officials from both sides planted trees and released fish into the Nam Ngum river to mark National Arbour Day on June 1.