Some time ago we talked about Laos exporting hydroelectricity to its neighboring countries. Laos is a major player in the Southeast Asian energy market, with around 80% of its power production exported to Thailand and Vietnam. This booming trade represents 30% of the country's total exports and fuels the region's growing demand for clean energy.
Not stopping there, Laos' reputation as the "battery of Southeast Asia" is also magnified by the operation of Monsoon Wind, an onshore wind power plant. This onshore wind power plant is the largest in Southeast Asia. The first wind project in Laos is also the first cross-border wind power plant in the region.
Owned by Impact Energy Asia Development based in Thailand, Monsoon Wind is a 600-megawatt (MW) wind farm situated in southeastern Laos' Sekong and Attapeu provinces, at an elevation of 1,200-1,600 meters (3,937-5,249 feet) above sea level. This project, consisting of 133 wind turbines, will supply power to state-owned Vietnam Electricity for a 25-year period and transfer the clean energy generated through a 500kV transmission line to central Vietnam. Monsoon Wind has a project cost of $950 million, and last month, Mitsubishi Corp and other shareholders raised $692 million for the project. The largest onshore wind farm in Southeast Asia is anticipated to become operational in 2025.
Not only is it the first cross-border renewable energy project in the ASEAN region, by 2030, the project will become a central focus of the Lao and Vietnamese governments to deliver up to 5000 megawatts of electricity, from Laos to Vietnam. The green energy generated from this project can also save more than 35 million tons of greenhouse gasses over its lifetime.
The collaboration on this project will bring in more foreign investment that will contribute to the economic growth and development of Laos. Moreover, by enhancing the infrastructure for cross-border power transmission, the Monsoon project is expected to elevate the overall living standards of the country.
Chinese greentech firm Envision Group will be providing turbines for the 600-MW Monsoon wind project in Laos. Envision Group declared a Letter of Intent (LoI) to furnish turbines for the development with Impact Energy Asia Development Limited (IEAD), the joint venture of Impact Wind Investment Ltd and BCPG Public Co Ltd, which is the project's developer. IEAD's affiliate, Impact Electrons Siam Company Limited (IES), has also obtained exclusive rights from the Lao government to conduct a feasibility study and preliminary environmental impact assessment.
The Monsoon Wind project in Laos will not only harness the country's abundant wind energy resources but also create numerous job opportunities, upgrade existing infrastructure, improve regional connectivity, and generate revenue through royalty, lease, and tax collections.
The Monsoon Wind project is a testament to the growing demand for renewable energy in Southeast Asia. With the region's abundant wind and solar resources, there is enormous potential for further development of renewable energy projects. Monsoon Wind Laos serves as a model for future cross-border renewable energy projects in the region, providing clean energy, creating jobs, and stimulating economic growth.
Lewis, Michelle. (2023). Southeast Asia's Largest Onshore Wind Farm Just Broke Ground. Electrek.co
Petrova, Veselina. (2022). Envision Turbnines Picked for 600-MW Wind Project in Laos. Renewablesnow.com
Adb.org. (2022). Lao People's Democratic Republic: Monsoon Wind Power Project.
Mitshubishi Corporation. (2023). Press Room: MC SIgns Loan Agreement for Monoon Cross-Broder WInd Project in Laos. Mistubishicorp.com
Shetty, Sangita. (2022). ADB as Lead Arranger for Financing of The "Monsoon Wind Project". Windsider.com