VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Laos is looking at Japan’s advanced power generation and storage solutions as it seeks to maximise its energy potential.
Dr Daovong Phonekeo (right) met the senior vice president at the JICA headquarters in Tokyo.
The Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr Daovong Phonekeo, accompanied by six director generals of relevant departments and the Electricite du Laos (EDL) managing irector, Chanthaboun Soukaloun, visited Japan from Oct 30 to Nov 4, 2022, to learn about Japan’s application of power system technologies.
On Oct 31, the Lao delegation visited Japan International Cooperation Agency's (Jica) headquarter office in Tokyo, where it was hosted by the Jica vice president, Mr Onodera Seiichi, and Nakazawa Keiichiro to discuss these matters.
Japan’s Frequency Converter Stations, Pump Storage Power Plants and P2G System Technologies were on show as Japan continues to assist Laos to enhance and improve technical knowledge and financial management capacities, including the development of power systems and implementation of regulations.
The visit was timely as an array of technological solutions are being considered for application to Laos’s existing power system and for deployment in future.
Jica has supported three technical assistance projects with Laos’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and related organisations, including the EDL.
Pumped Storage Hydropower Power Plants are a particular focus for Laos as the Southeast Asian nation boasts generation capacity and reservoirs that are able to increase their operational efficiencies through the implementation of pumped storage systems.
During the visit, the Lao and Japanese sides discussed and exchanged views on the current implementation programme and areas of cooperation in the future, including key global issues facing the energy sector.
On Nov 1, Dr Daovong and his delegation visited the Shin-Shinano Frequency Converter Station in Nagano prefecture, a back-to-back high-voltage direct current facility that links Japan’s Western (60Hz) and Eastern (50Hz) power grids.
The station plays a very important function in converting electric power frequency of 60 Hz to 50Hz, ensuring the capacity to distribute electricity between Western and Eastern Japan to ensure security of supply.
The following day, the delegation visited the Komahashi Hydropower Plant in Yamanashi prefecture, Japan’s oldest pioneering hydropower plant commissioned in 1907.
Participants learned about the history of development of hydropower and the river basin for dam utilisation, river discharge measurement, optimal reservoir operation and more. In addition, the delegation visited Kazunogawa Dam, the lowest barrage of the pumped storage power plant that commenced operations in 1999.
On Nov 3, the delegation visited Komekurayama and Yume Solar Farm/House in Yamanashi prefecture, a large solar farm system generating electricity used for hydrogen generating processes for storage and supply to local power grids.
They also visited the Yamanashi Hydrogen Center to study a demonstration of new technology systems for hydrogen production (P2G System Technology), which contributes to building a CO2 emission-free hydrogen-storage powered society in Japan.