Nam Ngiep 1 Project begins generating electricity for export to Thailand

LAO PDR (Vientiane Times) - After five years in the making, the Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project (NNP1) in Borikhamxay province of Laos started generating electricity on September 5 for export to Thailand.

Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project’s main dam and main powerhouse. --Photo provided by NNP1

The project is the latest independent power producer in Laos to become fully operational, according to a press release from the company. The construction commenced in late 2014 and the last civil, electrical and mechanical works were completed in August. Final commissioning tests were successfully completed in late August and the Commercial Operation Date was certified as of September 5, 2019, by EGAT under its Power Purchase Agreement with NNP1.

“I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to all stakeholders who have been involved in the project. It has been an amazing five years and everyone’s input is greatly appreciated,” said the Managing Director of Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company Limited, Mr. Toshihiro Takano. Mr. Takano said this significant milestone is due to the strong support from host communities, all project-affected people and the Government of Laos at all levels.

Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project has an installed capacity of 290 MW and it consists of a main dam and main powerhouse, and a re-regulation dam and re-regulation powerhouse located along the Ngiep River in Borikhan district of Borikhamxay province.

The construction of both dams was completed before the 2019 wet season and reservoirs for both have been successfully impounded to full supply level and are now in very safe operation. The main powerhouse has an installed capacity of 272 MW and all energy produced from this power plant will be sold to EGAT via a 120-km, 230 kV transmission line to Nabong Substation in Vientiane capital, Laos. Here the energy is transformed to 500 kV before it is sent to Thailand.

The project’s main dam is a roller-compacted concrete gravity dam, 167 meters in height, and currently the tallest dam of its kind in Laos and the region. The powerhouse has an installed capacity of 18 MW and the energy produced from this power station is sold to Electricite du Laos for local consumption.

The NNP1 Project is on one of the priority projects of the government of Laos, whose goal is to build socially and environmentally responsible power projects that will provide clean renewable electricity and contribute to poverty reduction in Laos.

During the 27-year concession period, the project will be managed and operated by the Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company, whose shareholders are the Kansai Electric Power Company of Japan, EGAT International Company Limited, and Lao Holdings State Enterprise.

The project expects to generate direct revenue and other indirect benefits to the Lao government during its concession period, after which ownership will be transferred to the Lao government.