World Bank allots US$33.5 million for Mekong Basin power trade

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) approved US$33.5 million in grants June 5 to help build transmission lines to carry hydropower to Southeast Asian nations in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) power trade program.

IDA granted US$18.5 million to Cambodia and US$15 million to Laos for transmission to interconnect with each other and with Thailand.

The GMS power trade program is aimed at cooperation among nations in the Mekong River Basin to exchange power generated by basin hydroelectric projects, reducing electricity costs and producing power export revenues for poor countries.

Under the program, the government of Laos invited expressions of interest from consultants in May to perform technical and environmental feasibility studies of the 185-MW Houay Lamphan Gnai hydropower project in southern Laos. (HNN 5/16/07)

In 2005, Laos called for consultants to develop a power import-export study and bilateral power trade agreements.

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