Laos’ 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi hydroelectric power plant to commence full operation this month

Construction News Laos
The 130-billion-baht Xayaburi hydroelectric power plant in Laos is expected to run at full capacity of 1,285 megawatts by the end of this month. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Laos’ 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi hydroelectric power plant to commence full operation this month

09 October 2019

SET-listed CK Power Plc (CKP) expects to commence full operation of the 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi hydroelectric power plant this month as planned.

This project began distributing power from the first generator unit to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) in April.

Thanawat Trivisvavet, CKP’s managing director, said Egat issued the certificate of readiness for operation on Oct 1 for seven turbine generators of this power project.

CKP also made a test run to assure the reliability and stability of Xayaburi’s power generation system, he said.

Beginning construction in 2012, the Xayaburi power plant is the first mega run-of-river power plant on the lower Mekong basin that has invested substantially in mitigating the environmental and social impact of sediment flushing and fish-passing facilities.

CKP holds a 37.5% stake via Xayaburi Power Co with Natee Synergy Co holding 25%, Electricite du Laos (EdL) 20%, Electricity Generation Plc 12.5%, and others 5%.

The seven turbine generators have a capacity of 175MW each and all 1,225MW is sold to Egat through a 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Tha Li district, Loei province.

The remaining capacity of 60MW is sold to EdL through a 115kV transmission line in Laos.

Mr Thanawat said Egat also made a joint test run at the Xayaburi plant to ensure all seven generators can provide electricity with rigid reliability and stability to Egat’s power grid.

The project can help stabilise power shortages during daily peaks or emergency outages from neighbouring power plants in a short time.

“The Xayaburi plant is flexible and adaptive when it comes to generating electricity from various levels of flow in different seasons on the Mekong River,” he said.

Mr Thanawat said CKP wants to maintain a balance between business returns and long-term sustainability for all investments.

CKP is engaged in 13 projects with total installed capacity of 2,167MW, consisting of two hydroelectric power projects in Laos — the 615MW Nam Ngum 2 hydroelectric power plant and the Xayaburi project. The company has a 46% stake in the Nam Ngum 2 project. Other projects are two co-generation power projects, operated by Bangpa-in Cogeneration Co (a 65% stake).

CKP has nine solar power projects, seven of which are operated by its wholly owned Bangkhenchai Co with total installed capacity of 15MW. The other two solar power projects are run by Chiangrai Solar Co (a 30% stake) with 8MW installed capacity, and Nakhon Ratchasima Solar Co (a 30% stake) with 6MW installed capacity.