China will build a US$142 million hydropower plant in Laos, the official Xinhua news agency said, in a deal signed November 19 during President Hu Jintao’s visit to the country.
The plant, with an installed generating capacity of 100 MW, would be built by China International Water and Electric Corp. (CIWEC) near Vientiane, the Laotian capital, Xinhua said. It said CIWEC already had helped build three similar projects in Laos.
Under a build-operate-transfer agreement, the company would run the plant for 30 years, including the estimated 4.5 years it would likely take to build it, and then transfer it to the Laos government’s control, Xinhua said.
Hu, whose visit is only the second ever by a Chinese head of state to its Communist-run neighbor, said China would continue to encourage investment in Laos and would keep providing aid, the official news agency added.
In recent years, China has been stepping up its aid to Laos, building hospitals, bridges and roads, eyeing the country’s mineral and timber resources as well as the access it gives to Thailand for landlocked southwestern Chinese provinces.
On the eve of a visit to Vietnam by President Hu, a subsidiary of Electricity of Vietnam signed a contract November 14 with China’s Yunnan Power Grid Co. to build the 21.4-MW Seo Chong Ho hydropower plant in Vietnam. (HNN 11/16/06)