Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Co recently clinched a US$700-million syndicated loan to develop a 410-megawatt hydropower plant on the Boloven plateau in Champasak in the south of Laos.
The project is expected to generate 1,860GWh per year.
PNPC is controlled by four leading multinational power companies – SK Engineering and Construction Co with 26 per cent, Korea Western Power Co with 25 per cent, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc with 25 per cent and the government of Laos via Lao Holding State Enterprise with 24 per cent.
CEO Young-Ju Choi said last week that the loan was packaged by four leading Thai banks – Krungthai as lead arranger, the Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Bank of Ayudhya and Thanachart Bank.
This demonstrates the increasing ability of Thai banks to financially support a complex cross-border project.
“PNPC is the first power project in Laos with a contractual requirement to provide access to its transmission facilities to neighbouring power plants,” he said.
About 370MW from the project will be distributed to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand under a 27-year power purchase agreement with the rest serving to enhance Laos’ power system.
“The leading position in this ground-breaking transaction reflects our clear dominance in the power generation industry in Asia-Pacific,” he said.
When commercial operation starts in 2018 and the power begins to be sent, the project would not only make an outstanding contribution to economic development in Laos over coming decades, it would also help Thailand stabilise its power demand in the future, he added.