5.2 Electricité du Laos
    * Electricity Purchaser
    * Technical Service Provider
Electricité du Laos (“EDL”) is a state owned company body established to have responsibility for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity within the Lao PDR. EDL was established in 1959 as a statutory body and, pursuant to the Electricity Law of 12th April 1997 and the Ministry of Finance Decision No. 2250 of 28th November 1997, became a public company regulated by the Business Law.
Notwithstanding EDL’s incorporation as a public company, EDL remains wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance. It is supervised by the Department of Energy (which, in turn, is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Energy and Mines) and the Ministry of Finance. The Board of Directors is appointed by the Ministry of Finance with the General Manager reporting directly to the Board.
EDL was originally responsible for the distribution and supply of electricity in only the Vientiane region, but its role has subsequently expanded to develop the country’s electricity infrastructure away from Vientiane. Whereas approximately 95% of the population of Vientiane has direct access to electricity, rural connection rates are much lower. However, given the geographic concentration of the power plants (80% of the total generating capacity is in or around Vientiane) and the lack of an interconnected transmission network, EDL is currently obliged to purchase electricity from both Thailand and Vietnam.
To help relieve the disparities between the urban and rural populations, EDL, in consultation with the International Development Association arm of the World Bank Group, has undertaken electrification programmes within the rural districts. The Project, by the provision of new transmission lines and its location will help to ameliorate this problem.
EDL’s own installed capacity is about 319 MW, comprising 310 MW of hydroelectric power capacity and 9 MW of diesel capacity (the 60% owned 210 MW Theun Hinboun and the 20% owned 150 MW Houay Ho projects are in addition to this capacity). The main power stations under EDL’s operation include the Nam Ngum 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (155 MW), the Nam Leuk Hydroelectric Power Plant (60 MW), the Xeset 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (45 MW), Nam Mang 3 (40 MW) and Selabam (5 MW).
The main load centre is Vientiane municipality which, together with its hinterland accounted for approximately 60% of total consumption. Other major load centres include Savannakhet, Champassak and Khammouane. Growth rates for consumption are high, averaging over 12% per annum in the period 1992 – 1999. It is anticipated that future growth rate will continue to be in excess of 10% per annum in the near future.
The total amount of electricity generated in the Lao PDR comfortably exceeds the national demand, thereby permitting the substantial export of electricity to Thailand. In 2001, EDL sales totaled 1,506 GWh of electricity with 710 GWh consumed in the Lao PDR and 796 GWh exported.
W Whilst EDL’s installed capacity is relatively low, the unique geography of the country means that its potential for hydroelectric power projects is substantial. The World Bank funded Study of Alternative Options undertaken in 1998 by Lahmeyer International and Worley International calculated that the prospective hydroelectric capacity in the Lao PDR was 23,000 MW; the current installed capacity (including the two private producers) is just over 600 MW.
Currently, EDL is providing Technical Services to NTPC by training of its O&M staff.