Lao Hydropower Plant To Provide Clean Energy for Thailand
ADB will provide approximately US$465 million to support the construction of a 440 MW hydropower plant in Lao PDR.
AsianScientist (Nov. 4, 2011) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide approximately US$465 million to support the construction of a 440 MW hydropower plant in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) that will supply power to energy-hungry Thailand.
The public-private Nam Ngum 3 power plant, on the Nam Ngum River in northern Lao PDR, will provide 2,072 gigawatt hours of clean energy annually for export to neighboring Thailand.
The new plant is expected to generate upwards of US$770 million for Lao PDR, of which more than US$200 million is specifically earmarked for poverty reduction and environmental protection programs.
“Earnings from clean energy exports are vital to poverty reduction efforts in landlocked Lao PDR, where one in every three people survive on less than US$1.25 a day,” said Christopher Thieme, Director in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.
Approximately half of Thailand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from power generation, and most of its electricity is generated by power plants using fossil fuels, primarily natural gas.
“By using hydropower instead of fossil fuels, Thailand will avoid an average one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year – the equivalent of taking 175,000 vehicles off the road,” said Anthony Jude, Director in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.
The Nam Ngum 3 plant, expected to be operational in 2017, will comprise a 220-meter-high dam that will create a 27.5 square kilometer reservoir.
Seasonal flooding from the new reservoir will necessitate the move of 144 households located near the planned reservoir, along with 45 more households located along the upgraded national road and the transmission line. According to ADB, all households will be fully compensated for their losses.
The plant, estimated to cost around US$1 billion, will be built and operated for 27 years by the Nam Ngum 3 Power Company (NN3PC).
Source: Asian Development Bank.
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