Chinese, Lao grid joint venture signs concession pact with Laos govt


VIENTIANE, March 12 (Xinhua): Electricite du Laos Transmission Company Limited (EDL-T), the joint venture between China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and Lao state-run Electricite du Laos (EDL), has signed a Concession Agreement (CA) with the Laotian government in capital Vientiane.

The signing on Thursday (march 11) was attended by Sonexay Siphandone, Lao deputy prime minister and minister of planning and investment, and Jiang Zaidong, Chinese ambassador to Laos, among other representatives from Lao and Chinese sides.

According to the agreement, under the supervision of the Laotian government, the company will serve as the country's national power grid operator to invest in, construct and operate the 230kV-and-above power grids in Laos and implement grid interconnection projects between Laos and its neighboring countries.

The joint venture will serve the country's economic and social development, and people's livelihoods, by providing safe, stable and sustainable power transmission, which will increase the country's utilization of hydro power, help transform its water resource endowment into economic benefits, and help build Laos into a powerhouse of Southeast Asia, according to the CA.

Khamchanh Vongsengboun, Lao deputy minister of planning and investment said when addressing the signing ceremony that the EDL-T is a priority project valued by the Lao government and the signing of the CA is a major victory in the project progress.

She said the EDL-T will enable systematic management and operation of the Lao national grid, provide more stable power supply and facilitate large-scale industrial development in the country.

The deputy minister said her ministry and other government departments of Laos will provide comprehensive assistance and facilitation to ensure that the project fulfill its targets as planned and contribute to the economic development of the country.

Ambassador Jiang said that as a fundamental and pillar industry, electricity is a key element in building the China-Laos community with a shared future, which serves as a propeller for economic and social development.

"By setting an example of China-Laos friendly cooperation, we could pay tribute to the 2021 China-Laos Friendship Year, and make contributions to building the China-Laos community with a shared future," he said.

CSG Vice President Zhang Wenfeng said at the ceremony that in the future, CSG will work with EDL to follow up on the work related to the EDL-T, optimize the construction, and enhance safe and stable operation of the Lao transmission grid.

The two sides will work together to improve power supply in Laos to serve the economic development of the country and enhance the livelihood of people, said the CSG official.

The EDL and the CSG signed the Shareholders' Agreement for jointly establishing the EDL-T in September 2020.
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