Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Hydroelectric Power Project, Laos


Lao People's Democratic Republic

Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Company's (PNPC) 410MW Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydroelectric power project is located in the southern region of Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). The project is estimated have an annual energy generation of approximately 1,860GWh.

PNPC is a joint-venture formed in March 2012 by SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C), Korea Western Power (KOWEPO), Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH), and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE). SK E&C holds 24% stake in PNPC, LHSE 26%, and RATCH and KOWEPO equally own the remaining share in the project.

The project, which is estimated to cost $1.02bn, is the first build-operate-transfer (BOT) project to be undertaken by the Korean companies in Laos.

Feasibility study for the hydroelectric project was completed in November 2008. Construction of the project began in February 2013 and commercial operations are expected to begin in 2018.

Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydroelectric power plant details



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The Xe Pian Xe Namnoy power project is located on the Bolaven plateau, approximately 550km southeast of the capital Vientiane city of Laos. The project will be developed on a 238ha land leased for a period of 32 years.

The project includes the construction of three dams: Houay Makchan Dam, Xe Pian Dam, and Xe-Namnoy Dam along the Mekong River. It will consist of a large storage reservoir on the Xe Namnoy River, underground tunnels, shaft waterways, and an open-air powerhouse featuring four generator units (three Francis turbines and one Pelton turbine).

The Xe Namnoy reservoir will be 73m-high and 1,600m-long, and will have a capacity to store approximately 1,043 million cubic meters (MCM) of water. Approximately 1,000MCM of water will be collected from Houay Makchan and Xe Pian catchments and stored at the Xe Namnoy reservoir.

The power house, which is located at the base of the valley, will generate power using gravitational force of fall and flowing water from a height of 630m. The water will further flow through the tailrace channel and discharged into the Xe Kong River.

Transmission and sale of power

"The power house will generate power using gravitational force of fall and flowing water from a height of 630m."

The power generated at the Xe Namnoy power house will be evacuated to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) through a 230/500kV transmission line and to Electricité du Laos (EdL) through an 115kV transmission line.

Out of the 410MW produced, 370MW will be sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) under a 27-year power purchase agreement signed in November 2012 and the remaining 40MW to Electricite Du Laos (EDL).

Xe Pian Xe Namnoy power plant financing

"The Xe Pian Xe Namnoy project is the first major power investment in Laos by South Korean sponsors SKE&C and KOWEPO."

The Xe Pian Xe Namnoy project is the first major power investment in Laos by South Korean sponsors SKE&C and KOWEPO.

The project achieved financial closure in February 2014 and is financed through 70% debt and 30% equity. Debt financing of approximately $737.5m is provided by a syndicate of Thai financial institutions including Bank of Ayudhya, The Export- Import Bank of Thailand, Krung Thai Bank, and Thanachart Bank.

Contractors involved

SK E&C was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the construction of the project, while KOWEPCO was awarded the operations and maintenance contract (O&M) for a period of 27 years. Ratch is responsible for the construction supervision of the project.

Tractebel Engineering was engaged as owner's engineer for the hydropower plant construction. KTB Advisory, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, and the Export-Import Bank of Korea are the financial advisors for the project.

SK E&C awarded a civil works sub-contract to Right Tunnelling for the construction of high and low-pressure tunnels.

TEAM GROUP prepared the basic design and tender documents, along with the environmental impact assessment for the project. ATT Consultants were engaged for designing the transmission system model, which will enable the transfer of power to Thailand.

AF Consult was engaged to conduct pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, engineering for basic design and tender documents, environmental and social management aspects, and to provide support services for finalising the concession and power purchase agreements.

NRI Energy Technology