Sugar Factory, Electricity Plant Open in Attapeu

Vientiane Times, 27 Feb 2013

President Choummaly Sayasone on Monday attended the opening ceremony of the Hoang Anh Sugar Factory and Electricity Generating Plant in Attapeu province.

The sugar factory and electricity plant were built by the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAGL) of Vietnam, at a cost of more than US$68 million.

The factory can process 7,000 tonnes of sugarcane a day and the electricity plant can generate 30MW.

The electricity generated will be fed into the national electricity grid and sold to Electricite du Laos.

According to the Pathetlao Daily newspaper, the HAGL uses sugarcane waste from the factory to power the electricity generating plant.

Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also attended the opening ceremony.

Mr Somsavat advised the company to comply with Lao laws, especially in regard to environmental protection. He said company executives should make sure that the cultivation of sugarcane to supply the factory and the generation of electricity is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The factory burns sugarcane waste during the electricity generating process, producing a certain amount of smoke.

The Department of Disaster Management and Climate Change under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment said recently that Laos is one of five countries in the world that releases only a small amount of carbon
dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere and this would have little impact on the ozone layer.

A stone-laying ceremony for the construction of the Hoang Anh Sugar Factory took place last November, with Mr Somsavat and Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc in attendance.

The factory sources its sugar from 6,000 hectares of plantations in the districts of Xaysettha, Sanxay, Samakhixay and Phouvong and the provincial capital, and invested US$19 million in the venture.

So far, over 5,000 hectares of sugarcane have been planted in Attapeu province and the remaining almost 1,000 hectares will be planted before the end of this year.

Many people are employed at the factory and on the sugarcane plantations. The average annual per capita income in Attapeu province currently stands at US$300-US$400. However, the Hoang Anh Gia Lia Group believes this will rise, helping to reduce poverty in the province.

The Hoang Anh Gia Lia Group is the number one investor in the province and also provides grants for development projects such as hospitals, roads and schools. The Group first began investing in Laos in 2007.

The Group currently has capital amounting to more than US$1.2 billion. It envisages increasing its investments in Laos to US$960 million by fiscal year 2014-15, in areas such as hydropower, mining and industrial tree plantations.

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