Laos to maximise energy trade with Vietnam

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos is targeting an increase in trade in electricity with Vietnam on a year-on-year basis after the two sides reached agreements on developing energy and mining projects and electricity trading contracts earlier this year.

Electricity exports to Vietnam will include those sourced from Vietnamese-funded electricity projects in Laos as well as from other energy developers in Laos.

The bilateral cooperation agreement on developing energy and mining projects was among several pacts signed at the 40th Meeting of the Laos-Vietnam Intergovernmental Committee in Vietnam this year.

Following the agreement, the officials in charge of implementing the pacts assigned by the Laos-Vietnam and Vietnam-Laos intergovernmental body met in Vientiane last Saturday.

A meeting between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines was held on the same day after they met with the leaders of the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

At the meeting, Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Khammany Inthirath highlighted the achievements in energy development in Laos, referring to the quantity of domestic consumption of electricity as well as the export of electricity to neighbouring countries.

“Laos has integrated power grids with Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand. In addition, Laos exports 100MW to Malaysia via Thailand’s power grid. By 2030, it hopes to increase this to 300MW,” he said.

 Dr Khammany said Laos currently exports a total of 320MW to Vietnam and expects this to exceed 5,000MW by 2030.

 As part of the deal, the minister asked the visiting Vietnamese trade minister to consider the possibility of purchasing power from thermal power projects in Khammuan province as well as from the wind power project in Xekong province.

In addition, the Lao minister called for Vietnam to support the improvement of Laos’ grid capacity and the operation of Vietnamese-funded electricity projects in Laos to sell power to the Vietnamese market.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Mr Tran Tuan Anh said his side was willing to cooperate with the Lao side to further boost electricity trade projects.

The Vietnam Electricity (EVN) group has been assigned to negotiate with Lao contractors on relevant cooperation options, prices and electricity capacities and outputs in line with the regulations and benefits on both sides, he added.

Laos and Vietnam signed a cooperation agreement on developing energy and mining projects in February 2019 after two years of negotiations and the signing of electricity trading contracts.