The Lao government has given green light to its holding company to enter into joint ventures with foreign companies in five energy development projects.
Mr. Somboun Manolom, managing director of Lao Holdings State Enterprise (LHSE) says besides Nam Theun 2, the government has also given formal approval for LHSE to enter into joint ventures with foreign companies in four other development projects. These projects include Nam Theun 1, Nam Ngum 3, Nam Ngieb 1 and Hongsa Lignite in which LHSE will have a holding of 20 percent, 20 percent, 25 percent and 25 percent repectively.
These five projects are expected to generate a total of more than 4,100 megawatts of electricity when completed, with an aggregate construction cost around 5,900 million dollars.
In order to be able to participate in these projects, Laos which is one of the poorest countries in the world will, of course, have to borrow at least 320 million dollars from international financial institutions. Laos had already borrowed more than 100 million dollars from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for the Nam Theun 2 project.
These investments are parts of Laos’ dream to become “ the battery” of the Greater Mekong Sub-region in the future, by building a series of dams to generate electricity to sell to its neighbors, especially Thailand and Vietnam.
Listen to our Laos Today report from more details in Lao.