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POTENTIAL FOR DEPLOYMENT OF RIVER RUN-OFF TURBINES IN LAO PDR

The Laos government aims to increase its power generation capacity from 6,441 MW to 30,653 MW by 2030 for electricity exports to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. While large scale traditional hydropower projects (with an average size that is more than 220MW) find resistance from NGO’s due to their negative social and environmental impacts and have to follow lengthy procedures of the intergovernmental Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Government of Laos (GoL) has put regulations in place to promote small hydro power (SHP), defined as equal or less than 15 MW. Now, more than ever the Laos Government may not push any further for large-scale hydropower given the recent disaster caused by collapse of the dam in Attapeu Province.

It is in the above context of development and dam-disaster risk management where the opportunity arises for the Dutch manufactured river-flow turbines for deployment without the above negative impacts or risk for disasters. The ‘Made in Holland’ technology i.e. Tocardo turbines were studied in Laos for deployment, a quick and clean solution that perfectly fits in small scale and effective hydro power projects, also called ‘Blue Technologies’.

The PSD Study (sponsored by RVO), carried out by WEnergy Global (a Dutch company operating out of Singapore), presented possibilities for the deployment of the above Dutch power generation technologies and set the stage for a results-oriented approach that aims at installing the first 10 MW of river run-off turbines in order to install over 1,377 MW up to 2030 worth over USD 1.3 billion of investments. The PSD Study prepared a roadmap for deployment (and investments by several private sector parties) that is shown below: