Electricity imports to drop, exports to drive growth in Laos
VIENTIANE, May 16 (Xinhua) — The amount of electricity imported by Laos is likely to drop in 2019 as the country witnesses a surge in electricity generation, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
In 2018, Laos spent 15.4 million U.S. dollars on electricity imports, less than the 18 million U.S. dollars spent in 2017, according to the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
In 2019, Laos plans to spend about 12.1 million U.S. dollars on electricity imports, mostly from China and Vietnam.
The Lao ministry said that about 88.5 million U.S. dollars was spent on electricity imports in 2015, which plummeted to 50.6 million U.S. dollars in 2016.
However, the value of electricity exported, mainly to Thailand, soared from 600 million U.S. dollars in 2015 to 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, making it Laos’ top export earner.
The country’s target is to earn about 1,328 million U.S. dollars from electricity exports this year. Electricity is the key sector expected to drive the growth of the economy, according to the report.
Under this plan, Laos expects to export 14,800 MW of electricity annually to neighboring countries by 2025.
According to the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines, Laos has operational power plants with a total installed capacity of 7,207 MW and electricity generation of 37,366 GWh per year.
At present, 95 percent of households nationwide in Laos have permanent access to electricity, the report said.