The Monsoon wind farm is the first wind project to be developed in Laos. Credit: AFRY AB.
The Monsoon wind farm is being developed in the Sekong and Attapeu provinces of Laos. Credit: Mitsubishi Corporation.
Construction of the Monsoon wind farm commenced in April 2023. Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua.

The Monsoon wind farm is a 600MW onshore wind project being developed in the southern part of Laos. It is the first and the largest wind farm to be developed in the country and the first cross-border renewable energy project in the ASEAN area.

The $950m project is being developed by Monsoon Wind Power, which was established by a group of companies including Mitsubishi through its subsidiary Diamond Generating Asia, ACEN Renewables International, Impact Electron Siam (IES), STP&I, BCPG and SMP Consultation.

Earlier development was carried out by Impact Energy Asia Development (IEAD), a joint venture of Mitsubishi (55%) and BCPG (45%).

The construction of the wind farm commenced in April 2023. The operational life of the project is expected to be 25 years, commencing in 2025. The project is expected to produce 1,700GWh of renewable energy per year and to offset more than 35Mt of carbon dioxide emissions.

Project location

The Monsoon wind farm is located in the Dak Cheung district of Sekong province and the Sanxay district of Attapeu province, both in southern Laos. It is situated 560km southeast of Vientiane, the country’s capital, and 48km east of Sekong city.

The project site will cover an area of 708.28km² (70,828ha) and is situated 1,200-1,600m above sea level.

Monsoon wind farm development

IEAD was granted the exclusive rights to develop the project by the government of Laos (GoL) through a development agreement signed in 2015.

In July 2017, the project was recommended by the GoL to the ministry of industry and trades of Vietnam (MOIT) to be developed as a cross-border renewable project. A grid impact study was completed and approved by Vietnam Electricity and MOIT in September 2019 and the project was approved to be connected to Vietnam’s grid network at the Thanh Mi substation.

In January 2022, Keppel Infrastructure, Impact Electrons Siam (IES) and Envision Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the possibility of expanding the wind farm’s capacity by 1,000MW. Keppel Infrastructure is a developer of sustainable infrastructure, while Envision is a global green technology company.

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the project was approved by the ministry of natural resources and environment in July 2022.

A concession agreement was signed by the developers with the GoL for 25 years in December 2022, allowing other projects to be connected to Vietnam’s grid network.

Details of the power plant’s construction

The Monsoon wind project will feature 133 EN-171 onshore wind turbines. Each EN-171 wind turbine will generate 4.51MW of electricity and will have a rotor diameter of 171m, a hub height of 110, a swept area of 22,965m² (247,193ft²) and a blade length of 83.9m.

The project includes the development of internal 33/115kV substations, a 115/500kV substation and 180km of internal road system, along with the development of underground and above-ground collector transmission cables and other ancillary facilities.

Grid connection

The Monsoon wind farm will export power to Vietnam’s electricity grid through a 65km-long 500kV transmission line, of which 22km will be in Laos and 43km in Vietnam.

The transmission line will start from the 115/500kV substation of the wind farm at Ban Dak Bong in the Dak Cheung district and will end at the 500kV Thanh My substation in Vietnam.

Financing of the project

A group of financing institutions including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking are providing a $692m financing package under an agreement signed with the developers in April 2023.

ADB is acting as the lead arranger for all the banks providing the financing package.

Power purchase agreement

A MoU on power interchange was signed between the Vietnamese and Laotian governments in October 2016.

The electricity generated by the wind farm will be supplied to Vietnam under a 25-year power purchase agreement signed between IEAD and Vietnam Electricity in 2021, which was amended in January 2022.

The plan for importing power produced from the wind farm to Vietnam’s grid was approved in July 2022 by the prime minister of Vietnam.

Contractors involved

Envision Group signed a letter of intent with IEAD for the supply of 133 wind turbines for the wind farm in April 2022.

The Power Construction Corporation of China (POWERCHINA) signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the wind farm in November 2022.

ERM-Siam Company, a consulting services provider, was chosen to conduct the environmental and social gap analysis of the local EIA.

AFRY, an engineering, design and advisory services provider, was engaged by ADB to provide the lender’s technical advisory services in March 2023.