Kansai Electric-backed hydropower plant begins operation in Laos

10, Sep. 2019

BANGKOK, NNA - A major hydropower plant built in Laos under a project led by Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co. has started commercial operation.

With two power stations, the Nam Ngiep 1 plant generates about 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours of energy per year, the Osaka-based utility said Friday.

Nam Ngiep 1 Power Co., the operator of the plant, will supply electricity from the main station to Thailand, while the other will provide power to the domestic market, both for 27 years, the statement said.

The plant is located about 150 kilometers northeast of the country's capital, Vientiane. It has two dams on Nam Ngiep River, a tributary of the Mekong River, which flows through the border of Laos and Thailand.

Nam Ngiep 1 Power, a joint venture established in 2013, is owned 45 percent by a Kansai Electric subsidiary, 30 percent by EGAT International, a subsidiary of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, and 25 percent by Lao Holding State Enterprise, the Lao government's wholly-owned investment vehicle, according to the Japanese utility.

The construction of the hydropower plant began in October 2014 with financing from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Asian Development Bank as well as seven other Japanese and Thai lenders.

Including the Lao facility, Kansai Electric operates 11 power generation plants in nine economies, mainly in Asia, and five projects in the pipeline, Kansai Electric said. (NNA/Kyodo)