ADB Funding Hydropower Plant in Lao PDR

ADB3 November 2011: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide approximately US$465 million to support the construction of a 440-megawatt hydropower plant in northern Lao PDR, which will generate an estimated 2,072 gigawatt hours of energy annually for export to neighboring Thailand.

The plant will be built and operated by the public-private partnership Nam Ngum 3 Power Company (NN3PC), and will comprise of a 220-meter-high dam that will create a 27.5 square kilometer reservoir on the Nam Ngum River. The new plant is expected to generate upwards of US$700 million for Lao PDR, with over US$200 million of this earmarked for poverty reduction programmes, and is expected to be operational in 2017.

Approximately half of Thailand's greenhouse gas emissions currently come from power generation, with most of its electricity generated by power plants using fossil fuels, primarily natural gas. The plant will help Thailand avoid over one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to taking 175,000 automobiles off the road. [ADB Press Release]