Representatives from over 30 businesses from five countries met in Vientiane Capital on November 18 to seek new business partners for investment in the electricity sector and hydropower dams in Laos.
The 2nd Korea-Asia Project Plaza 2016 was held in Vientiane Capital in presence of the Vice Minister of Energy and Mines of Lao PDR, Mr Vilaphonh Vilavong, and representatives of the companies from five countries of the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, as well as local businesspeople.
The Project Plaza 2016 was co-organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and the Korea Plant Industries Association (KOPIA).
The event offered foreign attendees a chance to introduce their projects and was also a great opportunity to establish networks and extend their businesses in industry, electricity, hydropower dams and others.
“Investment from Korea has played a major role in the development of the capital’s infrastructure, particularly along the Mekong River in the city center. Thanks to the Republic of Korea, we now have parks and promenades that are much used and appreciated by our people,” said Mr Vilaphonh.
He also highlighted the high potential and advantageous location of Laos which is located in the very center of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, one of the world’s most dynamic power markets. The energy sector in Southeast Asia has been growing at a frantic pace and continuing demand for electricity ensures future growth and opportunities for investment.
“I myself have been in the hydropower business for nearly 40 years. In my time with our national utility Electricite du Laos (EDL) and the Ministry of Energy and Mines, I have witnessed the remarkable, rapid and responsible growth of our generation and transmission capacity,” Vice Minister Vilaphonh added.
Laos is a small land-locked, least-developed country, but over the past 40 years, we have accomplished some big things. We believe that our experience developing hydropower and promoting regional energy-trade can help better the lives of our people, and millions of people beyond our borders, he explained.
Laos has chosen hydropower as its principal means of energy production because it is clean, renewable, has zero-carbon emissions, and is a non-consumptive and non-polluting use of water resources. No other alternative creates opportunities for irrigation, recreation, protection against floods and droughts, water for human consumption, and the possibility of improved fish stocks.
Laos is lucky to have hydropower potential of 26,000 MW – far more than it needs.
This richness in natural resources has led us to our “Vision”. The Power Sector Strategy is to develop all hydropower potential as rapidly and responsibly as practical, while meeting all sustainability criteria with respect to technical, economic, environmental and social aspects.
More recently, we have moved to a private investment model that relies on private capital and private developers to build and operate dams for us during an initial concessionary period of 20 years or more, Mr Vilaphonh went on.
Laos has 29 projects in operation – 19 of them larger than 15 MW, 25 larger than 15 MW under construction; and 9 more projects larger than 15 MW in development.
In total, Laos will have 10,000 MW of capacity ready by 2020; and 20,000 MW of capacity in operation by 2030.
Source: Lao News Agency