SouthEast Asia Energy Co., a joint venture of Thai companies and the Lao government, said April 26 it signed an agreement with the Lao government to build the 1,080-MW Nam Bak hydroelectric project in Laos.
The developer said it signed a memorandum of understanding on building the US$400 million dam and hydro project and would make an 18-month feasibility study of the project. Construction would take five years and start generating electricity in 2013.
Thai construction firm Ch. Karnchang PCL is the largest shareholder in SouthEast Asia Energy, with a 28.5 percent stake. The Lao government and Thailand’s Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding each hold a 25 percent stake, while Thai highway operator Bangkok Expressway PCL has 12.5 percent.
SouthEast Asia Energy already is developing the 615-MW Nam Ngum 2 hydroelectric project, 15 kilometers from Nam Bak. Ch. Karnchang is handling construction of that project, to be completed in late 2010. (HNN 12/19/06) Officials said water could be diverted by Nam Bak to increase generation at Nam Ngum 2, on the upper Nam Ngum River 90 kilometers from Vientiane.
Ch. Karnchang has said it plans to bid for more infrastructure contracts in Laos and Cambodia as the construction industry slows at home.