Illustrative photo (GETTY IMAGES)

Vientiane (VNA) –
Laos is among 15 countries worldwide receiving the biggest investment from China in the energy sector, Vientiane Times on October 15 quoted a World Bank report as saying.

By 2017, China’s investment in the field in Laos hit 15 billion USD and is expected to continue rising in the years to come, said the report.

China is now one of the largest investors in the hydropower sector in Laos, engaging in about half of the total number of hydropower projects in the Southeast Asian nation.

According to data of the International Rivers, China’s hydropower projects in Laos include the 2.4 billion USD Pak Beng, the 2 billion USD Ban Ou, Nam Kham 3, Nam Beng, Nam Leuk 1 and 2, Nam Ngum 5, Nam Mang and Nam Phay plants.

The energy sector has made significant contributions to Laos’ annual budget and played an important role in the country’s economic development. The Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines said that Laos is capable of producing 30,000MW of solar, bio-mass, wind, thermal and hydro electricity.

At present, Laos is home to 48 operating hydropower plants with total designed capacity of 6,551MW. They are able to generate 35,549 GWh per year. The country is now building 52 other hydropower plants with combined capacity of 6,511MW, able to generate 31,395 GWh per year. These plants are expected to be put into operation between 2020-2021.

China is currently the largest foreign investor in Laos with more than 700 projects worth up to 8 billion USD.-VNA