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Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project's second phase starts operations

Updated: 2019-12-26

The ceremony to start the first power generation unit of the Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project was held on Dec 26 in Luang Prabang, a city in north central Laos.

Developed by POWERCHINA, it is the first Chinese company-run project to win the development rights for a whole river basin in the country. Lao Minister of Energy and Mines and president of the Laos-China Friendship Association, Khammany Inthirath, Chinese ambassador to Laos, Jiang Zaidon, and the deputy general manager of POWERCHINA, Li Yanming, attended the ceremony.

In his speech, Minster Khammany expressed his thanks to POWERCHINA for its contribution to the project. He pointed out that the development goal of Laos's energy industry is to develop water resources for power production and domestic power consumption. On the basis of producing environmentally friendly, clean and sustainable energy, it will provide the growing export industry with sufficient power.

Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project's second phase starts operations

The launch ceremony for the first power generation unit of the Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project's second phase is held in Luang Prabang, Laos, on Dec 26. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

It is an important strategic energy industry project in Laos, which has been incorporated into the country's strategic planning for the energy industry from 2020 and 2025, he added.

The minister also said the project is a green, environment-friendly and sustainable development project, which will bring a large amount of high-quality and sustainable power to Laos.

Ambassador Jiang Zaidong stated in his speech at the ceremony that POWERCHINA, as an active practitioner of the Belt and Road Initiative, is an outstanding representative of Chinese enterprises in Laos. The value of its completed, under construction and newly signed contracts rank first in Laos.

Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project's second phase starts operations

Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

The Chinese ambassador said he hoped that, POWERCHINA will continue to share the building and operating experiences with the Lao side to proactively play the project's benchmark role in bilateral cooperation.

Li Yanming said POWERCHINA plans to integrate the whole industrial chain, the whole river basin planning system, and BOT investment and development.

It will provide data support for Laos to build a national water resources and water environment management system, flood prevention and disaster reduction, and centralized control management of hydropower stations. The project will share the advantages of advanced concepts, technologies, equipment, operation and management with the Lao people.

The Nam Ou River originates from the area bordering Jiangcheng in China's Yunnan province and Phongsali in northern Laos. It is the largest tributary of the Mekong River in Laos at a length of 475 kilometers and a natural drop of about 430 meters.

The project is being developed in two phases, with total installed capacity of 1.27 million kilowatts and total investment of about $2.73 billion.

The first phase, comprising the Nam Ou 2, 5 and 6 plants, with total installed capacity of 540 megawatts, started its commercial operations Jan 1, 2017.

The total installed capacity of the second phase, comprising the Nam Ou 1, 3, 4 and 7 plants, is expected to be completed by 2020.

Since entering the Laos market in 1996, POWERCHINA has actively expanded the fields of electric energy, mineral resource development, infrastructure construction and regional related industry development, to give full play to its brand value and industrial chain advantages.