Laos Promoting Thai-built Wind Farm on ASEAN Stage

Energy Press Releases Wednesday May 11, 2016 15:03
Bangkok--11 May--Siam PR Consultant
Lao PDR aims to use Monsoon Wind Power, the ASEAN's largest wind farm to be built by Thai wind developer, as an exemplary prototype for ASEAN - a boost towards reaching the "COP 21" targets.

The Monsoon Wind Power is a 600-MW wind farm project which, when completed, will be the largest in ASEAN. The site covers two districts in southern Laos: Dak Cheung in Sekong Province and Sanxay in Attapeu Province. The project has been developed by a Thai renewable energy firm, Impact Electrons Siam Co., Ltd. or "IES".

Laos has high hopes of the project and views it as a prototype for the development of the country's alternative energy source, which has a potential to support a sustainable energy future for all.

Chantho Milattanpheng, Deputy Director, Institute of Renewable Energy and Promotion, Ministry of Energy and Mines of Lao PDR, pointed out the potential of the Monsoon Wind Power as a major advance in Laos' alternative energy sector while giving speech at "Sustainable Energy & Technology Asia Exhibition & Conference (SETA) 2016". He said the wind farm will undoubtedly benefit all parties, including Laos, Thailand, or even the ASEAN region, given that the project is expected to have the ASEAN's largest wind energy capacity, generate clean energy to be sold at a fair price, and promote the well-being of the community surrounding the project site.

In an effort to facilitate the development in the alternative energy sector, Lao PDR plans to increase the share of renewable energy to 30 percent of the total energy supply by 2025.

"That is why the 600 MW wind project is at the same scale of a coal power plant with a suitable location. So we are talking to the Thai government to consider taking this 600 MW which will help Thailand and Laos with significant carbon emission reduction," said H.E. Mr Viraphonh Viravong, Laos' Vice Minister of Ministry of Energy and Mines, who also added: "Another thing is that subsidy might get things started but it's not going to last long. The only way to be able to promote renewable energy sustainably is to make it commercially competitive. This wind project is in a better position to do so due to the most advanced state-of-the-art technology."

The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris last December (2015) saw delegates from Thailand, Laos, and 144 other countries signed a pact that aimed to avert the rise in global temperatures beyond the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius. At this forum Thailand also pledged to cut emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) by 20-25 percent within 2030 relative to 2010 levels, equivalent to a cut in GHG emissions of about 111 to139 million tons. With an installed capacity of 600 megawatts, Monsoon Wind Power is expected to avoid 67 million tons of GHG emissions throughout the project life cycle compared to fossil-fuel power plants.

Thailand's cabinet on April 5, 2016 gave its approval to the country's participation in the "Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) program, under which the World Bank would provide Thailand, as a PMR member, with a USD 3 million grant for the development of initiatives that help Thailand achieve its greenhouse-gas emission reduction goal.

"This is what we are currently discussing with the Thai government and with this project we can avoid millions of tons of CO2 emissions for the next 25 years and if this happens, all credits would go to Thailand for making it possible," Mr Viraphonh concluded.

According to World Bank statistics, Thailand was the 22nd largest greenhouse-gas emitter in the world and the 5th largest in the East Asia and Pacific region. Over the last decade, the energy sector has been the most important source of GHG emissions in the country.

Project Details

Monsoon Wind Power (Project) is a wind farm project located in Sekong and Attapeu provinces of Lao PDR. The Project has been developed by Impact Electron Siam Co., Ltd. (IES) since 2011. IES and the Government of Lao PDR initially signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to undertake a feasibility study on development of the project. Following more than three years of wind measurement and project feasibility analysis carried out by IES in coordination with a leading wind-energy consultancy, the renewable energy firm signed a project development agreement (PDA) on August 7, 2015 with the Lao government to further advance the development of the 600-megawatt wind farm.

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