China-Laos Railway Power Supply Project Completed on Schedule

On March 31st , 2021,the External Power Supply Project for the Lao section of the China-Laos Railway ( “the Power Supply Project”) saw all 20 circuits of its transmission lines linked up and all 11 bays of 10 substations commissioned, which passed the acceptance by the Minister of Energy and Mines of Lao PDR (MEM), Electricite Du Laos (EDL) and the Laos-China Power Investment Company (LCPC) together. This marks the on-schedule completion the Power Supply Project and its readiness to deliver power to pave the way for the on-schedule operation of the Railway.

The China-Laos Railway is a key project for promoting infrastructure connectivity between the two countries. The facilitating power supply project is the first BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) grid project in Laos and the power provider for the commissioning and service of the railway. Its Shareholder Agreement, signed in April, 2019 under the witnesses of the top leadership of China and Laos, clarified that the project would be invested, constructed and operated in a BOT mode by the Laos-China Power Investment Company (LCPC), a joint venture between China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and EDL. The on-schedule completion of the project contributes to the China-Laos Community of Shared Future and pays tribute to the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and to the “China-Laos Friendship Year”.

Upon full completion of the Power Supply Project, CSG will work with the Laos-China Railway Company and EDL to integrate the traction substations into the Lao national grid, thus ensuring power supply for the following live-line commissioning and operation.

The China-Laos Railway starts from the Mohan-Boten Crossing on the China-Laos  in the north and ends in capital Vientiane in the south with a total length of 414 kilometers and a design speed of 160 km/h. The Railway, whose construction began in December, 2016, is expected to start service at the end of 2021. Construction of the Power Supply Project began on December 30th , 2019. Along with the Railway, the power supply construction took place in four provinces —-Luang Namtha, Oudomxaie, Luang Prabang and Vientiane—-and the capital city Vientiane. The project will supply power from EDL’s grid to 10 traction substations. The project consists of four transmission line engineering tenders and one substation engineering tender, which involves building 20 circuits of 115kV transmission lines with a total length of 257 km and 633 towers, 11 bays in 10 substations.

To set an example of BOT grid demonstration project in Laos, CSG pursued high construction standards focusing on safety, quality and progress management. Faced with COVID-19, a maximum of 654 workers from China and Laos pushed ahead with the construction work orderly while protecting themselves against the pandemic. Not a single incident took place and not a single worker contracted COVID-19.

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