Laos begins transmission of 195MW of electricity to Cambodia

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos has created a link for the supply of 195MW of electricity to Cambodia, following the signing of an electricity purchase agreement between the two countries.

The power link was officially opened last week, in a ceremony attended by the Deputy Managing Director of Electricite du Laos (EDL), Mr Duangsy Pharanhok, and Deputy Managing Director of Electricite du Cambodia (EDC), Mr Praing Chulasa, along with Don Sahong Power Company representatives.

The power is transmitted from the Don Sahong hydropower plant in Champassak province to the Stung Treng electricity station in Cambodia through high voltage 500kV transmission lines and Cambodia’s national grid.

Under the purchase agreement, the Cambodian government will buy a total of 2,900MW from Laos between 2020 and 2027, of which 500MW will come from hydropower plants and 2,400MW from coal-fired power plants, according to EDL’s website.

Up until now the amount of power exported from Laos to Cambodia has been small, but the additional 195MW will significantly boost Laos’ energy sales to Cambodia.

The Don Sahong hydropower plant finished tests on four generators in October after construction of the plant began in 2016.

In March 2012, EDL signed an agreement to sell 195MW of electricity generated by the Don Sahong hydro plant to EDC at a price of 7.3 US cents (620 kip) per kWh.

In the past, Laos transmitted 40MW of electricity through a 115kV transmission line at a price of 8.1 US cents (688 kip) per kWh and 10MW through a 22kV transmission line for 9.32 US cents (792 kip) per kWh.

In September 2019, Laos signed a memorandum of understanding on electricity power development cooperation with Cambodia for a total of 6,000MW.

On that occasion, EDL, EDC and two coal-fired power companies signed a Power Purchase Agreement for a total of 2,900MW, of which EDC agreed to purchase 500MW at a price of 7.29 US cents (620 kip) per kWh from hydropower plants owned by EDL and to purchase 2,400MW for 7.70 US cents (654 kip) per kWh from coal-fired power plants.

Of the 2,400MW to be sourced from coal-fired plants, 600 will come from the Lamam coal-fired power plant and 1,800MW from the Kaleum coal-fired power plant in Xekong province.

At present, Laos can generate almost 5,000MW for export, which will increase further when more hydropower plants become operational, including the Don Sahong dam.

Laos has signed electricity sales agreements with neighbouring countries Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and is discussing the possibility of more exports in the future.