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Nam Theun 2 Delivers First Local Electricity
The Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project made its first delivery of electricity for domestic use in Laos on 6 August, 2009, when the first of two Pelton Unit turbines was successfully synchronised with the local substations of Electricité du Laos.
The turbine produced 2 megawatts (MW) of power during the first test. The electricity was transmitted to the EDL substation at Mahaxay and then on for consumption by local customers in Khammouane Province. Further tests were conducted the following day, with delivery rising to full power.
The NT2 Power Station houses two Pelton Units, each able to deliver 42 MW when running at full power output. The Project operator, the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC), will supply 300 gigawatt hours of electricity per annum to EDL from next year. This accounts for 5% of the Project’s output, with the remaining 95% to be exported to Thailand via a separate generation and delivery system.
According to Khene Thepvongsa, Director of EDL’s Transmission and Substation Department, this power is very important for Laos and for people in the Project area. “When the two Nam Theun 2 Pelton generators are available for full power delivery, Khammouane will be able to quit importing electricity from Thailand”, said Mr Khene. The province currently imports 55-60 MW from across the Mekong.
Mr Khene said the team of EDL engineers were happy to be on hand to see the first domestic power come from Nam Theun 2. “The NT2 engineers were able to smooth some initial problems on the test and then proved to us that the unit can run at full capacity” he said.
EDL purchased this test energy from NTPC at a special low rate and hopes to start buying electricity regularly from September, before the Project is officially completed. The second Pelton generating unit at the NT2 Power Station is expected to come on line in November 2009.
NTPC successfully tested its first export of power to Thailand in June.
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The Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) is the developer and operator of the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project in the Lao PDR. The Project is a public-private partnership designed to generate electricity for export to Thailand and for domestic use in Laos. Revenues accruing to the Lao government during NTPC's concession period, estimated at ove US$2 billion, are to be used to fund poverty alleviation in the country. Nam Theun 2 is structured as an industrial and a development Project which places great emphasis on protection of the environment and sustainable social programmes that will improve the livelihoods of people in the Project area. After 25 years of operation from 2010, the Project will be transferred to the Lao State.