Vientiane, April 1, 2016    

Installation of a new turbine at the Theun-Hinboun Powerhouse in Khammouane is allowing THPC to generate more electricity from the water it uses. The new 120-megawatt turbine began operating on February 28, and recent tests show the unit is delivering power at higher efficiency than was previously possible.IMG 8476

According to Khonsavath Muongpak, THPC Operations Manager, the turbine replaces a 110-megawatt turbine installed for the original Theun-Hinboun project in 1997. Mr Khonsavath said that the new machinery would increase production. “This is an important consideration for hydropower operators”, he said “especially at a time when rainfall is becoming less predictable than in the past”.

Low levels of rainfall in 2015 have hampered the ability of hydropower operators to run at full capacity, and improved technology can help to ease this problem. “At THPC we prefer to run our turbines at best efficiency rather than maximum output, and under that regime this new turbine will generate 10 megawatts of extra power from the same amount of water”, said Mr Khonsavath.

Work on the turbine began in December last year, through a major overhaul team comprised of staff from THPC alongside specialist engineers from the Rainpower and Alstom companies in Norway. The job was completed ahead of schedule, with the Lao team impressing their foreign counterparts.

Alf Steiner Jensen, site manager for Rainpower, said that THPC’s team worked quickly, efficiently and safely, enabling the work to be achieved in good time with excellent results and zero accidents.

The second of the original TH turbines will be replaced at the end of this year, allowing THPC to catch up on some of the production lost to last year’s poor wet season. “With good rains this year, we will quickly be able to return to full production”, said the company’s Deputy General Manager, Soulideth Baomanikhoth. “Despite low water levels we have been able to fulfill all our financial obligations to the government and our lenders, while also maintaining support to local communities”.

“However, at full production we are able to make higher payments to our partners and contribute more to national development” he said. “The new turbines will increase this even further”.

Download Lao version (pdf)                                                                                                                                                        Download Lao Sedthakid article (pdf)

Download English pdf version                                                                                                                                                     Download Vientiane Times article (pdf)

IMG 9292                                                                                                                   Download Lao Phatthana article (pdf)





THPC’s Operations and Maintenance team worked alongside international engineers                                                                                             during the turbine upgrade, impressing the visitors with the quality of their work.