Nam Theun 2 Expected to Generates $27 Million This Year


Vientiane Times, 10 Jul 2012

The Nam Theun 2 hydropower plant, currently the largest in Laos, is expected to generate 216 billion kip (US$27 million) for the country this fiscal year.

According to the Nam Theun 2 Power Company, which operates the 1075MW plant on the Nakai plateau in Khammuan province, they expect to pay 216 billion kip in royalties and dividend to the Lao government this fiscal year.

Last fiscal year the company paid US$19 million in resource use charges and dividend. The previous year, the company paid US$5.4 million to the government.

The Nam Theun 2 Power Company is a joint venture between the Lao government and three private partnerships. The government holds a 25 percent stake in the US$1.2 billion power generating project.

The plant began generating power in middle of 2009, after four years under construction, and began operating commercially in April 2010. Most of the power generated is sold to Thailand and the rest is used for domestic consumption.

The Nam Theun 2 Power Company says in a report posted on its website that the Lao government will receive a larger share of revenue from 2010 onwards, ranging from US$25 million to US$140 million a year. Over the 25 years of the project concession, Laos expects to receive US $2 billion.

The government made a strong commitment to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, which provided financial support for the Nam Theun 2 plant, that they would spend the revenue on reducing poverty and improving health and education in the country.

The Nam Theun Power Company says in its 2011 annual report to its board that even though the plant suspended power production in August last year, it was able to generate the amount targeted thanks to greater power generation earlier in the year.

Power generation was suspended from August 2 to 17 in line with the concession agreement, which requires the plant to ease water releases once the level of the Xe Bang Fai river at Mahaxai reaches a dangerous level.

The Lao government and its development partners consider the Nam Theun 2 plant to be a model hydropower generation project.

At present, Laos has 14 operational power plants with installed capacity of about 2500MW, up from just 200MW in 1995. The country will finish building four dams this year with a combined power production capacity of about 600MW.

Seventy dams are in the planning and feasibility study stages. In the first six months of this fiscal year, Laos earned more than US$300 million from the export of electricity.



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