Laos plans to open 10 more hydropower plants in 2015 in order to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the Southeast Asian region.

According to Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Khammany Inthirath, only a few hydropower dams were in operation in Laos in the 2006-2010 period, generating approximately 1,000 MW a year. Today, the country produces over 3,000 MW of electricity a year in 29 hydropower plants, for both domestic use and export.

By 2020 Laos is expected to have a total hydropower capacity of 12,500 MW, of which 85 percent will be exported.

In 2014, turnover from the mining and energy sector surged, accounting for 12 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

During this period, the sector’s production value reached 94.34 trillion LAK (12 billion USD), up by 9.22 percent compared to the 2006-2010 period.

Each year, the sector’s generates 18.8 trillion LAK (2.3 billion USD), with the energy sector accounting for 5.5 trillion LAK (678 million USD).

To date, 88 percent of Lao households are connected to the national grid.-VNA