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The Lao Government and the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) celebrated the twentieth anniversary of operations at the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project in Vientiane on March 31.

Commercial operations began at Theun-Hinboun on March 31 1998, and since then the plant has generated over 36,000 Gigawatt hours of electricity, which is more electricity than has been consumed in Laos over the same period.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Bounthong Chitmany said that Theun-Hinboun was a Lao success story, having made a vital contribution to the development of the country over the last 20 years.

THPC, which is 60% owned by EDL-Generation and 98% staffed by Lao nationals, has contributed over US$500 million to the state in its first 20 years of operations and is set to increase payments in coming years thanks to measures to expand production and make generation more efficient. Dividends paid by THPC to the state shareholder have so already provided a 500% return on the initial investment, in addition to the significant contribution made by the project through royalties and taxes.NGdam

Dr Khammany Inthirath, Minister of Energy and Mines, noted that Theun-Hinboun has had an important influence on national socio-economic development since 1998. When the plant first went online it raised GDP by an estimated 7% and was, for the next six years, the biggest earner of foreign currency in the country.

“The Theun-Hinboun project has improved the living standards of all ethnic peoples,” added Dr Khammany, “playing a vital role in implementing the strategy for rural development, poverty alleviation, and the development of the Lao PDR as a regional energy link”.

According to THPC’s General Manager, Robert Allen, THPC’s mission for the next 20 years is to continue contributing to the socio-economic development of the Lao PDR through income, human-resource and technical improvements, environmental protection and community investment, and to prepare the hydropower facility for government control at the end of the company’s concession period.

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