LAOS EXPECTS to be able to export 100 megawatts of electrical power to Malaysia by September, according to the office head of the Laotian Ministry of Energy and Mines.
Dr Daovong Phonekeo said last week that the Laotian government was launching the first phase of a pilot project to sell 100MW of electricity to Malaysia via Thailand’s national grid.
Laos also expects to export another 100MW of power to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia’s network by 2020 as the second phase.
Laos, which already exports electricity to its neighbours, is looking at exporting power to Singapore because of the high energy prices there, an official said.
It was reported previously that Laos exported electricity at a unit price of just over 7 US cents per kilowatt-hour to Thailand and just over 6 cents per kilowatt-hour to Vietnam and Cambodia, while the unit price in Singapore was about 20 US cents per kilowatt-hour.
Daovong said the Ministry of Energy and Mines was preparing documents that would speed up talks with the authorities in Thailand and Malaysia in March, to negotiate prices and the electricity-transmission process.
He believes that the sale of electricity to Malaysia will start this year.
He said the export of electricity to Malaysia was part of a pilot project. Laos will assess its benefits and challenges with other Asean members and looks forward to trading electricity collectively.
Ministers welcomed the signing of memoranda of understanding between Laos and the countries involved, saying they needed to work together and complete the legal, technical and commercial aspects of the pilot project.
The sale of energy under the MoUs will be pursued under the initial phase of the Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP).
The four countries have engaged in talks and activities in which the ministers reiterated their support for the LTMS-PIP as a pathfinder to complement existing efforts towards realising multilateral electricity trade in the Asean Power Grid and the Asean Economic Community.
Laos is expected to generate 10,000MW by 2020.
Up to 75 per cent of this is expected to be exported, as domestic demand is forecast at only 25 per cent.
By 2030, Laos’ power-production capacity is expected to rise further to 20,000MW, which will be in excess of domestic demand and available for export to countries in the region.