China has not taken over Lao hydropower plants and grid whereas Laos is still controlling them, EDL has said that dismisses foreign media reports.
Some foreign media recently carried reports stating that China is taking over Lao's power plants and transmission line network.
The false reports came after Lao State Enterprise, Electricite Du Laos (EDL), and China Southern Power Grid (CSG) signed a shareholders’ agreement to jointly establish Electricite Du Laos Transmission Company Limited (EDL-T) on September 1st, 2020.
“In fact, there is no taking over,” Acting Managing Director said in the press statement.
Adding on to that, the Chinese government or companies’ engagement in Laos is just pure cooperation between Laos and China that has long existed that both sides would jointly develop a high-voltage transmission line building Laos’ national backbone power grid and cross-border power grid interconnection for Laos and its neighboring countries. This will strengthen Lao's effort to supply the power in order to meet the growing demand within Laos and in its neighboring countries.
“The Lao government and EDL insist that electricity management is still under control by the government of Lao PDR – Not running by the government of any other countries,” Acting Managing Director of EDL said.
The presence of the Chinese State Enterprise CSG is intended by the Chinese government to assist Lao's government with technical and financial difficulty.
Over the past decades, the Lao government has welcomed private investment into developing hydropower plants. Also, it is currently granting the concession of transmission lines to the private sector, but their operation is still under the control of EDL and Lao’s government. All these developments are to ensure national energy security and also to fulfill the common policy of ASEAN countries. Also, promote the development of the ASEAN power grid to ensure energy security in all ASEAN countries.
“The Lao government expects that Laos-China cooperation will increase marketing opportunities by expanding electricity (grid) into CLMV countries including Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, and Vietnam,” said Acting Managing Director of EDL.
Finally, EDL reiterated that all concessional hydropower plants and transmission lines will be handed over to Laos in the future once the contacts are over according to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contracts. regardless of that, all assets will be transferred to the Government of Laos in substantial amounts.