CKP to build hydropower plant near Luang Prabang

CKP to build hydropower plant near Luang Prabang

Nam Ngum 2 hydroelectric power plant, with installed capacity of 615 megawatts, started commercial operations in January 2013.
Nam Ngum 2 hydroelectric power plant, with installed capacity of 615 megawatts, started commercial operations in January 2013.

CK Power Plc (CKP), the power generation arm of construction firm CH Karnchang Plc, expects to start building a new hydropower plant near Luang Prabang on the Mekong River in northern Laos as it joins the global trend of focusing more on clean energy.

The project faced a two-year delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company recently signalled it is preparing for the construction by announcing to its shareholders a bank guarantee worth 98.1 million baht granted for the project, which will be developed and operated by CKP subsidiary Luang Prabang Power Co.

The bank guarantee was approved following a memorandum of understanding signed by CKP and the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, which will buy electricity from the hydropower plant.

The development cost of the 1,460-megawatt facility is estimated at 150-160 billion baht, Muntana Auekitkarjorn, CKP's deputy managing director for corporate planning, said during a meeting with stock investors late last year.

The Luang Prabang project is intended to be built on the Mekong mainstream in Houygno village, about 25 kilometres from Luang Prabang, according to the Mekong River Commission's website.

It is a run-of-the-river dam, with electricity to be sold to Thailand or Vietnam.

Construction of the new hydroelectric power plant was previously set to begin in 2020 and scheduled to finish in 2027, the website said.

CKP earlier developed the Nam Ngum 2 hydropower plant with installed capacity of 615MW and the 1,285MW Xayaburi power plant.

The facilities are part of the company's plan to increase electricity generation capacity from renewable sources by 2.8 gigawatts within three years, up from 2.1GW at the end of last year.

Thanawat Trivisvavet, CKP's managing director, earlier told reporters the additional capacity will come from renewable energy, which will make up 95% of total capacity over the next five years.

The electricity supply comes from six new power plants, including hydropower, solar and wind power facilities in Thailand and abroad.

CKP plans to sharply increase its solar power capacity from 29MW to 330MW and double wind power capacity to 700MW.

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