13 Hydropower Plants Set to Be Completed in Lao PDR in 2020

An aerial view of a dam.
Lao PDR stands to gain 732 megawatts in capacity with the new plants. Photo credit: ADB

Construction work of 13 more hydropower plants, with a combined installed capacity of 732 megawatts (MW) will be completed in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic by end 2020, a newsletter from the Southeast Asia Regional Department (SERD) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reported.

Once operational, the country will have a total of 90 hydropower plants with a combined 10,704 MW capacity, the SERD Newsletter added.

Lao PDR has been exporting almost 7,000 MW, of which almost 6,000 MW is exported to Thailand, followed by Viet Nam (570 MW), Cambodia (320 MW), and Myanmar (10 MW); and is expecting to export more in the future. 

Lao PDR also sold electricity to the ASEAN Grid (100 MW) via Thailand and Malaysia; and expects to export 300 MW by next year. 

At present, 95% of families in the country have access to electricity, 93% of total villages are electrified, and 100% of provincial chief towns. 

ADB, in collaboration with private sector, development partners, and the Lao government have contributed to the energy sector development under ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

This article first appeared on the SERD Newsletter on 25 November 2020.