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A freight train carrying potash fertiliser, home appliances, machine parts and textile products departs Yiwu, the world’s small commodity hub in East China’s Zhejiang on December 13, 2021. The train will arrive in the Lao capital of Vientiane after four days, the first one from Yiwu after the opening of the China-Laos Railway earlier in the month.    --Photo cnsphoto

China signs electricity agreement with Laos

(Global Times) -- Following the three-month smooth operation of the China-Laos Railway, China is strengthening energy cooperation with Laos, signing an electricity agreement with the country, in a bid to address local long-abandoned water and electricity facilities, as well as promoting green development in both countries.
Promoted by China’s National Energy Administration and the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Laos, China Southern Power Grid (CSG) signed an electricity agreement with Electricite du Laos (EDL) on Wednesday, highlighting the establishment of electricity grid interconnections in the Lancang-Mekong Region, in a move to set up a shared electricity market in the region, China’s Embassy in Laos reported on Thursday.
Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong said that both CSG and EDL are main forces in the power industry of each country, and the cooperation will ensure energy security and promote bilateral cooperation.
“Though Laos enjoys rich electricity resources, its grid construction is lagging. The energy cooperation will help Laos improve its electricity supply and improve the living standard of local residents by addressing the electricity shortage, as well as promoting the export of surplus electricity from Laos,” Lin Boqiang, director of the China Centre for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Laos is rich in electricity resources, with a total installed hydropower capacity of nearly 10,000 megawatts and an average annual power generation of more than 50 billion kilowatt-hours, but its deployment capacity is seriously insufficient, thus leading to huge abandoned water and electricity facilities, Jiang said.
Jiang added that room for energy cooperation between China and Laos is not limited, but both countries should avoid exceeding grid capacity, in order to promote the benign development of Laos’ power industry and ease the pressure of business operation.
Daovong Phonekeo, Minister of Energy and Mines of Laos, said that Laos attaches great importance to the development of the energy sector, noting that the country will continue to strengthen energy cooperation with China, aimed at mutual benefit and green development.
Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese companies have contributed to infrastructure construction in Laos. On September 27, 2021, the power supply project for the China-Laos Railway was put into operation, which will guarantee the smooth operation of the railway and promote the establishment of the China-Laos community with a shared future, experts noted.
Since its launch on December 3, the China-Laos Railway has seen major progress. During China’s Spring Festival travel rush from January 17 to February 25, the China-Laos Railway ran at full capacity, carrying more than 700,000 passengers and over 170,000 tons of goods, transport officials in Yunnan said.

(Latest Update March 14, 2022)

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