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Asia’s Hydro Powerhouse

VIENTIANE • Laos could become the battery of Asia, and its abundant natural resources, which include hydropower and food resources, will help it build links with the rest of the region, says Lao businessman Phanthachith Inthilath.

He is the chairman of Intra Corporation Sole Co, a renewable energy company that is supporting the country’s desire to become the powerhouse of Asia.

“Even though Laos is a land-locked country, the government has a policy and purpose to turn it into a land-linked country by developing the east-west economic corridor,” he told The Vientiane Times.

Laos recently took steps to develop the Vung Ang seaport, as well as railways and highways, to facilitate the transit of goods from the west, including Myanmar and Thailand, that pass through Laos on their way to the east, he said.

With the Asean Economic Community becoming a reality, pressures have increased. Laos has to become more competitive, said Mr Phanthachith. One way forward would be to focus on tourism as there are many spots yet to be discovered and developed.

Intra Corporation is engaged in the power sector, especially hydropower development, solar plants and coal-fired plants. Other interests include finance and investment consultancy, construction, real estate, import and export, media, marketing and sport centres.

The country’s mountainous terrain and rivers support hydropower development, but most of its dams can generate power effectively only during the rainy season.


Even though Laos is a land-locked country, the government has a policy and purpose to turn it into a land-linked country by developing the east-west economic corridor.


“The company plans to contribute to the power management system and invest in renewable energy,” said Mr Phanthachith.

Intra Corporation is developing nine hydropower projects with partners in Thailand, China and Australia. In addition, it has signed memoranda of understanding to sell electricity to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Singapore.

Comments (1)

  • Elghi E Segovia

    Elghi E. Segovia, Civ Ing, MSc / PhD cand. (Germany), Hydropower-Water Resources Expert
    3826 Henri Julian Ave. / Montreal – H2W 2K2 CANADA
    Currently : Abd. Calderon / Condo. Los Balcones-Casa 3 /sobre Ciud. Kennedy, Cuenca – Ecuador
    Phones : 1- 438 401 5538 // 1-514 922 3553 (Montreal) // 593-969 185 780 (Cell Ecuador)

    Cuenca/Ec , August 14- 2017


    Dear Lady/Sir,

    Having just read your article “ Laos Hydropower for Asia” it came to my mind I could contribute to that generous development : I am a world expert on Hydropower and HResources, planning my retirement in SAmerica. Since achieving my German Master’s & PhD(pending) on WResources & Hydropower in the seventies, I’ve been very involved on this subject all over the world. Firstly in Europe and the American continent, then in Asia. Moreover, I know SEast Asia well, due to my last 20 years work on Hydropower
    Projects (HPP) in India/Iran/Pakistan.
    Having worked for over 35 years on HPP all over the world, with German/Swiss/Canadian Consulting Firms, my expertise covers particularly engineering/design of all types of such stations. Energy, Irrigation, river Navigation (locks) and Flood Control as well. Energy Economics. I am personally acquainted with world experts of the Hydropower industry. Spanish is my mother language and also German . I speak/write fluently English, German, Spanish, French. And diverse Software packages.
    Attached below is a summary list (ANNEX) depicting only the most important hydro projects I was strongly involved with. My CV will provide you further details of my skills and accomplishments.

    Sincerely yours,
    Elghi E. Segovia
    Cell Ph. : (593) 969 185 780

    – CV/Resume’ and diverse certificates
    – ANNEX : Summary List HPP projects with my heavy involvement (as chief engineer)


    Project examples (only major schemes) with my decisive participation:

    Argentina/Paraguay MPP Corpus, 4500 MW (36xLH Kaplan), navigation, irrig. 120 000 Ha

    Burma MPP Kinda , 60 MW, 2x LH Francis Turbines, Irrig. 80 000 Ha

    Burundi Master Plan for Electrification

    Dominican Republic RRP Lopez, re-regl & irrig. 40 000 Ha (1×18 MW Francis; 280 MW u/s)

    Ecuador HPP Paute, 1200 MW, 10 x HH Pelton (170m arch-grav dam)
    FCP Cuenca Baja Guayas , 300 000 Ha (3 gated weirs)
    MPP Puyango-Tumbes, 450 MW, LH Pelton, Irrig. 200 000 Ha
    WSP Micatambo , 16 000 l/s (earthfill dam at 4000 masl)
    RRP Tres Cerritos, re-regl.& Irrigation 55 000 Ha (u/s 310 MW)

    Germany PSS/WindPP System “Mediterranean”, 6MW
    Guatemala HPP Chixoy, 300 MW, HH Francis

    India HPP Omkareshwar, 520 MW, 8x LH Francis, (grav dam, 1000m long)
    HPP Kameng , 600 MW, 4x HH Francis (1 dam + weir )
    HPP Teesta VI, 500 MW, LH Francis (weir + desander)
    HPP Rangit II,120 MW, 3x HH Pelton (asphalt ACRD dam)
    HPP Chuzachen, 80 MW, HH Francis (1 dam + weir)
    HPP Miyar, 135 MW, HH Francis (RCC dam)
    HPP Lethang, 90 MW, 3 x MH Pelton (high gated weir)

    Iran MPP Karun III, 3000 MW, 12 HH Francis (205 m d.arch dam)

    Jamaica HPP “Seven Small Hydro P. Plants”, 500 kW up to 12 600 kW

    Mexico HPP El Cajón, 750 MW, 2xMH Francis (200m CFRD)

    Nepal HPP Marsyangdi , 70 MW, 2x HH Francis

    Pakistan HPP Bunji, 6000 MW, 12 x 500 HH Francis (200m d.arch dam)
    HPP Neelum-Jhelum 960 MW, 4 HH Francis , 28 km Headrace tunnel . (small flushable reservoir)

    Peru HPP Ocona, 150 MW, 2 x MH Francis ( 2 weirs)
    Master Plan for Electrification

    Sri Lanka/Iran HPP Uma Oya, 120 MW, 3 x 40 HH Pelton (800 m).Power & Irrigation

    Turkey HPP Pervari, 550 MW, 3 x Francis (160m RCC dam)

    HPP=Hydroel. Power Plant MPP=multi purpose plant RRP = Re-regulat. plant
    WSP= Water Supply Prjt. FCP = Flood Control Prjt. PSS=Pump Storage
    LH=low head HH= high head MH= medium head.


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