The Lao government has decided to stop exporting coal to keep the fuel source serving the national industries, especially cement production, according to the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The country now has six cement plants, which are together importing a large volume of high-price coal, the ministry reported.

The price of locally-produced cement is currently higher than that in Thailand, posing a big challenge for the industry when an ASEAN Economic Community is established in 2015, according to local cement producers.
Therefore, it needs to go down with an adequate supply of coal mined inside the country, they said.

Apart from serving its cement sector, Laos’s move also aims to ensure the coal resources for a new thermal power plant which will be built in northern Houaphan province to generate electricity for local consumption and export.-VNA