VIENTIANE (The Nation/Asia News Network): The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Lao counterpart to enhance cooperation in the energy and telecom businesses.
Egat governor Boonyanit Wongrukmit said on Sunday that he signed the MoU with Chanthaboun Soukaloun, the director of Électricité du Laos (EDL) on Feb 1 in a ceremony in Vientiane.
The MoU calls for closer cooperation between the state electricity producers of the two neighbouring countries for at least three more years, Boonyanit said.
The MoU covers the telecom business, operation and maintenance of hydropower plants, and smart energy solutions.
Egat and EDL will jointly develop the telecom business in Laos by optimising each side’s existing resources, especially the fibre-optic networks linking Thailand and Laos, Boonyanit said.
The two agencies will continue to cooperate on the operations and maintenance of hydropower power plants in Laos, especially the Nam Ngum 3 power plant project, Boonyanit said.
Egat will share its knowledge of smart energy solutions so that the EDL can efficiently manage its power production, he said, adding that the two agencies will identify potential smart micro-grid sites in Laos.
The Egat governor said Thailand and Laos have been cooperating on power production, electricity sales, and development of power transmission networks for 60 years.
Close cooperation between the two agencies will enhance their businesses, especially the telecoms, Chanthaboun said.
Laos’ fibre-optic network is linked to China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, so Egat and EDL will be able to cooperate to develop their joint telecom business, he added.
Laos has over 80 dams throughout the country that can generate electricity, so EDL needs cooperation from Egat to operate and maintain its hydro power plants and train its staff, Chanthaboun said.