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EGATi rushed the Nam-Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project to strengthen the Thai-Laos Power System. The commercial operation date was expected in January 2019.

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Last November, Mr. Suthon Boonprasong, Deputy Governor-Transmission System, joined the ceremony of financial agreement and the construction kick-off of the Nam-Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project, which was chaired by Mr. Somdee Duangdee, the Minister of Planning and Investment, Lao People's Democratic Republic at Don-Chan Palace Hotel, Vientiane, Laos. The event was also joined by Mr. Pisanu Chanvitan, Ambassador of Thailand to Lao PDR, Mr. Hiroyuki Kichino, Ambassador of Japan to Lao PDR, Mr. Sombat Year Re-Her, the Governor of Sai Somboon, Mr. Makoto Yaki, the President of Kansai Electric Power of Japan, Mr. Thana Putarungsi, the Acting President of EGATi, Dr. Somboon Marorom, the President of Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE), Mr. Yoshihiro Yamabayashi, the President of Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company Limited (NN1PC), Mr. Christopher Theme, the representative from Asian Development Bank (ADB), DR. Magoto Kanai, the Vice President of Obayashi Corporation, and other related people of the project development.

Mr. Soulivong Dalavong, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, said that the project was one of the Lao PDR Government’s policy to develop the country as well as the life quality of people along with the power development, especially the hydropower plant construction.

Mr. Thana Putarungsi, the Acting President of EGATi, said that this was the achievement of EGAT’s affiliate as EGATi could reach the mutual agreement in developing the Nam Ngiep Hydropower project. The project was under the MOU between the governments of Thailand and Lao PDR to support the cooperation of power development in Lao PDR, which in turn would sell electricity of 7,000 MW back to Thailand to strengthen the power system security of the country. The project dealt with the clean power with low price, which was beneficial for the economic development of the two countries as well as paving the way for the next investment opportunities for EGATi in Lao PDR in the future.

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The Nam-Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project was financially supported by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the fundraising from banks in Japan comprising of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and the Japan Bank for International cooperation. Also, the project was supported by banks in Thailand namely Bangkok Bank, Kasikornthai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, and Export-Import Bank of Thailand. The installment duration was more than 21 years to encourage the project to be competitive and make the electricity sold to Thailand having the low price.

It was expected that the project would take 5 years for completion and would commercially supply the electricity to the EGAT’s transmission system in January 2019. The Nam-Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project was comprised of 2 units, each of which had the capacity of 134.5 MW, accounting for 269 MW in total. It could generate electricity for 1,490 million units per year, which would be transmitted through 230 kV transmission lines, from the power plant to the substation in Nabong, Lao PDR, and to Udon Thani 3 Substation in Thailand through 500 kV lines. The contract of power purchase from Nam Ngiep 1 would last 27 years with the average electricity price of 2.54 baht. The progression of the construction was then at 5%.