Connect with us

Thai Life

Laos – the ‘battery’ of South East Asia

Tim Newton

Published

 on 

LAOS POWER FACTS:

Number of power plants soon to be completed by 2020: 53 hydropower plants under construction or in the planning stage, including those set to be completed this year; there will be more than 90 hydropower plants in Laos with a combined installed capacity of almost 14,000MW by 2020.

Transmission lines that connect with neighbouring countries: 14 carry power to Thailand, 2 to Vietnam, 1 to China, 2 to Cambodia, and 1 to Myanmar.

Laos - the 'battery' of South East Asia | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: SinoHydro

Trick question. What uses more power? Siam Paragon in Bangkok or the entire province of Mae Hong Son (with 250,000 residents)?

The astonishing answer is, of course, Siam Paragon. By a factor of DOUBLE the power consumption of the north-western Thai province near the Myanmar border. Siam Paragon consumes 123 GWh of electricity a year (in 2011), compared to the quarter-million inhabitants of Mae Hong Son Province, who over the same period, used 65 GWh.

So,whilst you trek across some ancient hills enjoying an old and proud culture in Thailand’s north-west you need to compare that with some of the opulent malls in central Bangkok which can easily compare with their counterparts in Singapore, New York or London.

The worlds of luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Tiffany and Cartier, and the power these shops consume, is an entirely different world from other parts of rural Thailand. But Siam Paragon is just one of half a dozen luxury malls sprawled along a six kilometre stretch of the city’s downtown. They all consume vast amounts of power.

So, Thailand has turned to Laos and the hydro-electric potential along the Mekong to feed its growing electricity demand. Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams, currently under construction, are among the cornerstones of a dam-building bonanza by Laos to realize its aspiration to become the “Battery of Asia”. Thailand is one of Laos’ key partners and buyers of power. And the kingdom’s largest energy consumer is (no surprise here) Bangkok, with it’s sparkling lights and air-conditioning ticking over the electricity metres at rapid pace.

Many analysts worry the planned hydropower dams will devastate fish populations, harm agriculture and hurt culture and tourism along the fragile Mekong basin, threatening the livelihoods of 65 million people who rely on the river for income and food.

With 42 power plants now operational, Laos is poised to realize its electricity ambitions. With a current installed capacity of approximately 6,000MW, the Lao government expects to achieve 14,000MW by 2020.

Thailand is not on its own with massive development and expansion putting pressure on the older ways of life. But the disparity in the Kingdom between the power-hungry city life and the older-style agriculture is now sharply in focus with this new deal with the Laos power providers.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Opportunity Knocks

    Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Power equates to jobs and mass employment.
    Without doubt hydro power is virtually clean power but does that equate in Loas?
    I am sure the environmentalists will update us.

    Power + Competitive Pricing + Locally available Labour = Successful Industrial Zones,

    What’s missing – access to Logistics ir the Silk Road steel belt – Rail Route

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Phuket49 mins ago

TAT touts the Phuket Sandbox first month July successes

Protests3 hours ago

Monarchy supporters claim protesters weaponizing Covid-19

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

5.7% of foreign residents in Thailand have received a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Sponsored1 day ago

Tour Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Travel4 hours ago

Top 5 Diving Schools in Koh Samui

Lifestyle4 hours ago

Best Places for Golf in Koh Samui

Crime5 hours ago

Child pornography group run by Suphan Buri couple busted

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok restrictions extended, record high infections | August 5

Thailand5 hours ago

Drugs found inside monk’s pillow at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Thailand7 hours ago

Fairy Sweet Village in Pattaya catches on fire, again

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 20,920 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand8 hours ago

Phuket’s BigGym allegedly closes 2 branches for good, doesn’t reimburse members

Travel9 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 most stunning villas for rent

News10 hours ago

USA tentatively plans to require all foreign visitors to be vaccinated

Thailand10 hours ago

Bangkok closure order extended until August 31

Best of10 hours ago

Ayutthaya’s 5 most amazing hotels

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending