VIENTIANE: The Lao state-run energy giant EDL-Gen spoke highly of the efforts made by the State Grid Corporation of China to promote power grid interconnection and interworking with neighboring countries under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.
EDL-Gen (Electricite du Laos Generation Public Company) is willing to join hands with regional countries to build an integrated energy system and exchange of electrical energy, EDL-Gen director Bounoum Syvanpheng has said.
Hydropower plants built by Chinese companies have helped provide residents in remote areas in Laos with access to electricity, contributing to the accomplishment of the country's socio-economic development targets, according to Lao officials.
According to Bounoum, the Lao government has put forward a number of policies that promote clean energy and cross-border electrical grid interconnection in order to facilitate sustainable energy development.
"At present, Laos has connected with regional countries in terms of energy, but the competitiveness of our system is not strong enough and needs to be improved to ensure quality and reliability of connection," Bounoum said.
Laos expects China's promotion of power grid interconnection and interworking with neighboring countries to "contribute to realizing our common goal," noting that the EDL-Gen will continue to support the exchanges of electrical energy among regional countries to ensure regional energy stability.
With the rapid development of ASEAN countries, electricity demand of the bloc's member states has also surged. Electricity exports have become one of the main sources for foreign trade and foreign exchange reserves of Laos.
The major sources for electricity in Laos is hydropower. It is estimated that the gross theoretical capacity of hydropower in Laos can reach some 30,000 MW, and exploitable installed capacity of 25,000 MW.
It is reported that the Lao government expects as many as 90 hydropower plants to be in operation by 2020. As of the end of 2016, the Southeast Asian country had 40 operational hydropower plants with an installed generation capacity of 6300 MW. (APP)