Thailand-Based B.Grimm Group Developing Hydropower Projects in Laos

Photo: Wikimedia

B.Grimm Power Co., a unit of Bangkok, Thailand-based B.Grimm Group, in conjunction with its partners, plans to continue developing hydropower plants in Laos, according to an announcement on March 17.

Preeyanart Soontornwata, president at Amata B.Grimm Power Ltd., made the announcement during her visit to the 6.7-MW Xe Namnoy 2 and 13.1-MW Xe Katam 1 hydro plants the company is developing in Paksong, Champasak province, Laos.

Xe Namnoy and Xe Katam Hydropower Co., a joint venture between B.Grimm Power Ltd. and Laos-based SV Group Ltd., will operate the project.

According to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, the project is located in southwestern Laos on the Xe Namnoy River and XeKatam River, in Champasak, near Laos’ borders with Thailand and Cambodia.

Soontorwata said the plant will begin operations in June and it is the company’s first hydropower plant in Laos. The cost of the project is not immediately available.

According to the Bangkok Post, Soontornwata said the company will open another hydropower plant in 2018 for an estimated cost of 1.7 billion baht (US$49 million.). The facility is at Nam Che, in the Xaisomboun province and will have a capacity of 15 MW.

The company also plans to develop a 67.5 MW five-plant project in Laos that includes: 15-MW Nam Khao 1; 15-MW Nam Khao 2; 15-MW Nam Khao 3; 15-MW Nam Khao 4; and 7.5-MW Nam Khao 5.

Published reports indicate B.Grimm signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Electricite du Laos (EDL) to supply the power generated by hydropower plants to Laos’ state utilities.

In September 2016, reported EDL and General Electric signed a memorandum of understanding to launch joint research and training programs designed to support the development of Laos’ hydroelectric power sector and electric grid.

With GE assistance, EDL hopes to make Laos a key source of energy generation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region by building a workforce capable of exploiting the country’s hydropower potential.

Soontornwata said the company plans to increase the renewable energy portion of its holdings from its current 10% to 30% within the next five years by investing in several high-potential projects in ASEAN countries including Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

The B.Grimm Power portfolio currently stands at 1,626 MW using fossil fuel, solar power and two hydropower plants.