Investors of the Nam Theune 2 hydropower dam project confirmed they will start supplying electricity
to Thailand by the end of 2009 as planned, as Laos is gearing up towards its foreign
investment promotion plan for electricity sector in order to become a leading
power export of Southeast Asia.
late June and early July, NT2 developers have successfully tested the
performance of the electricity generator and managed to link its power transmission
line to that of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) without
a power purchasing agreement between the Lao government, NT2 developers, and
EGAT, the NT2 dam will supply 995 megawatts of electricity to EGAT for 25 years.
During that period, the Laotian government stands to receive 25 percent or
about 2 billion dollars worth of concession fees, taxes as well as dividends
from the project's income and profits as a joint investor. Other investors expect
to earn 3 billion dollars from the hydro power export.
say the NT2 project has cost approximately 1.45 billion dollars worth of investment
in the construction and the administration of the project's environmental and
social impacts management. The World Bank had agreed to act as a guarantor of
foreign loans for investors because the project meets international standards
of protection of social and environmental impacts, and at the same time will generate
income for the government to spend on other development projects to alleviate
the country's poverty.
NT2 project has become the Lao government's prototype or showcase for development projects to eradicate
poverty. The World Bank recently brought a delegation from Tajigkistan to visit
the project site and study specific aspects of the project.
Laos regards the NT2 project as a showcase for other hydro- power dam projects
earmarked for the promotion of foreign investments as the country sets out to
become a major hydropower exporter or electric powerhouse of Southeast Asia in
the current global financial crisis has caused a delay in most of foreign
investors' dam construction plans in Laos, and consequently will have a direct
repercussion on the country's powerhouse plan.
Songrit reported in Lao and summarized in English.