Vietnam’s plan to import Laos wind power

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has submitted a proposal to import wind power from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) to Quang Tri Province.

EVN, not one to shy away from bold decisions, has urged the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to review and present the proposition to the prime minister.

The ambitious plan revolves around tapping into the potential of the Trong Son Wind Power Plant in Bolikhamsai Province, Laos. EVN is pushing for the green light, emphasising the need for additional planning, including the construction of a new 220kV double-circuit transmission line spanning 75 kilometres. The envisioned line will connect the Trong Son Wind Power Plant’s 220kV substation to the 220kV busbar at the Do Long 220kV substation in central Nghe An Province, Vietnam.

Excitement abounds as the MoIT confirms receipt of the proposal, seeking feedback from relevant ministries and localities. The wind power project, boasting a capacity of 250MW, is slated to commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2025.

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The MoIT issued an official statement.

“To import electricity from this plant to Vietnam, a new 220kV double-circuit transmission line will be constructed, with a length of 75 kilometres from the Trong Sơn Wind Power Plant’s 220kV substation connecting to the 220kV busbar at the Do Long 220kV substation in the central Nghe An Province, Vietnam.”

The driving force behind this venture is the Vietnam Laos Energy Investment and Development Corporation, the project’s investor. To ensure a timely completion in 2025, they propose investing in the entire grid connection project using the project’s funds.

Power purchase agreements

In an earlier twist, EVN, in a report to the MoIT, disclosed that both Laos and Vietnam had inked a deal to import 1,000MW of electricity from Laos to Vietnam by 2020. The ambitious import targets escalate to around 3,000MW by 2025 and a staggering 5,000MW by 2030, reported The Nation.

“EVN has already inked 19 power purchase agreements (PPA) to acquire electricity from 26 Laotian power plants with a total capacity of 2,240MW.

“Seven projects are commercially operational, boasting a total capacity of 806MW, and an additional 1,171MW is expected to come online by 2025.”

However, a startling revelation surfaces: the approved capacity of electricity sources in Laos, slated for import into Vietnam and operational by 2025, falls short at only about 1,977MW. This revelation starkly contrasts the import scale outlined in the initial memorandum of understanding, raising questions about the feasibility of the grand plan.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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