The Xekaman 1 hydropower project reservoir in the Lao province of Attapeu, part of electricity cooperation between the Vietnamese and Lao Governments, officially began storing water on May 9.

The project comprises the Vietnamese-invested Xekaman 1 plant on the lower Xekaman River and its counterpart Xekaman Sanxay further downstream.

The 290 megawatt facility Xekaman 1, located about 80 kilometres from Vietnam’s Bo Y border gate, has two turbines and a 4.8 billion-cubic-metre reservoir.

Its first turbine is scheduled to start generating electricity in March 2016 and the second is set to become operational two months later.

The first and second turbines of the 32 megawatt Sekaman Sanxay will go into operation in April and July 2017, respectively.

The Xekaman 1 hydropower project has an investment of 540.89 million USD—including 53.72 million USD spent on 230 kilovolt power transmission lines.

The build-operate-transfer project is designed to have a combined output of 1.21 billion kilowatt hours per year, about 80 percent of which will be exported to Vietnam and the rest will be consumed in Laos.

Speaking at the ceremony marking the reservoir’s opening, Governor of Attapeu province Nam Viyaketh said the project creates a major power generation advantage in southern Laos and critical to the country’s socio-economic development.

It is also a symbol of the special cooperation and friendship between Vietnam and Laos, he added.-VNA