The Lao government has given formal approval to its energy investment organ to enter into joint ventures with foreign companies in four energy development projects.
Mr. Somboun Manolom, managing director of the Lao Holding State Enterprise(LHSE), says the four projects his company has been given approval to participate in are the Nam Ngum3, Nam Theun 1, Nam Ngiep 1, and the Hongsa thermo-power project. He adds that LHSE plans to have a 23% share in the Nam Ngum 3 and 20% in the other three projects.
The four projects are expected to generate a total of more than 3,220 megawatts of electricity upon completion, with an aggregate construction cost of at least 4,835 million dollars.
To be able to participate in these projects, poverty-stricken Laos will of course have to borrow money from international financial institutions - namely the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the Investment Bank of the Europian Union - as it did in the case of the Nam Theun 2 project.
These investments are parts of Laos' ambitious plan to become " the battery" of the Greater Mekong Sub-region in the future by building a series of dams to generate enough electricity to sell to its neighbors.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.