Vietnam, Laos sign energy cooperation deals

09:02 | 19/02/2020 Vietnam - Asean

(VEN) - At the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee’s 42nd meeting, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith agreed to promote bilateral energy cooperation. The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade is facilitating and implementing agreements on importing electricity from Laos.

vietnam laos sign energy cooperation deals

Vietnam’s electricity firm EVN has signed five new deals to buy electricity from Laos starting next year, the state-run company said. The Southeast Asian nation faces severe power shortages as demand, outpacing construction of new plants, is expected to exceed supply by 6.6 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2021, and 15 billion kWh in 2023.

Pacts signed in Hanoi in early January with Laos’ Phongsubthavy and Chealun Sekong groups provide for EVN to buy electricity from five hydropower plants, beginning in 2021 and 2022, EVN said. Lao Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath and Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh witnessed the signing and said mutual benefit was the basis for expanding bilateral cooperation in the future.

Minister Tran Tuan Anh assessed the great importance of the event in implementing the policy of the Politburo and the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee on Energy Cooperation.

Lao Minister Khammany Inthirath said eight power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed recently, and his country is carrying out feasibility study reports for power projects including a north-south transmission line for commercial electricity exchange among countries in the region.

The two ministers said energy authorities and businesses of the two countries need to cooperate more closely and efficiently and complete negotiations on electricity purchase with other approved hydroelectric projects, and continue implementing power grid projects to transmit electricity from Laos to Vietnam in 2020.

During the visit to Laos by Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong in February 2019, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines signed a government-level agreement on cooperation in power and mine projects development. The Ministry of Industry and Trade worked with relevant ministries and sectors and proposed that the Prime Minister approve electricity import from Laos, including Nam Kong 1, 2 and 3 projects in Atapeu Province; Nam Emoun project in Sekong Province; the Nam Mo hydroelectric complex in Xieng Khouang Province; and Nam Sum hydroelectric plant in Hua Phan Province.

Vietnamese and Lao enterprises and investors have signed 13 power purchase contracts, mostly for Vietnam’s purchases of power from Laos. The two sides expect efficient implementation of the signed contracts.

Lan Ngo