Hongsa coal mine

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Hongsa coal mine is a owned and operated by Hongsa Power Company, producing 14.3 million tonnes per annum, near Nabalone, in Xaignabouri, Laos.[1]

The mine provides power to the Hongsa power station.


The photo below shows the exact location of the mine Xaignabouri, Laos.

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In 1996, Thai Lao Power Co. Ltd. (TLL) initiated the proposed development at HongSa District, Laos PDR. The project is to be comprised of a coal mine, power plant and transmission line.[2]

The Hongsa Power project was later developed by Hongsa Power Company, a consortium comprising the Thai company Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company (Ratch), Banpu Power (a susbidiary of the the Thai coal-mining company Banpu) (BPP) and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE). Ratch and BPP each have a 40% stake in the project and LHSE 20%.[3]

The plan included a power station and mine-mouth coal mine. The power station and associated mine are slated to cost US$4 billion. The consortium has been granted a 25 year concession over a 60 square kilometre site.[3]

Hongsa Power 1/2
Hongsa Power 2/2

Under the terms of a May 2009 agreement 1,473MW will be exported to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) with 100MW for domestic Lao consumption. (The remainder is for on site use).[3]

In August 2014 LHSE said generator units 1 and 2 would begin electricity generation in 2015 and unit 3 in 2016.[4]

The first unit began operating in June 2015, and will be solely exported to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) through a 500-kilovolt power grid system stretching over 67-km. The second unit is planned to begin commercial generation in November 2015 and the third in March 2016.[5]

The large open pit lignite mine which supplies fuel for a power plant consisting of three (3) 626 MW (gross) generating units. Water supply for the power plant will be from 2 reservoirs on Nam Louak (upstream of Muang Hongsa) and Nam Kene (downstream of Muang Hongsa). A double circuit 500 kV transmission line will also be constructed.[6]

Community resistance

In May 2013 it was reported that authorities in northern Laos had barred non-governmental organizations from meeting with villagers being relocated for the plant. The NGOs said they are trying to inform residents about their compensation rights and the full impact of the project.[7] Nearly 2,000 people were moved to new locations.[8]


According to the Hongsa Power website, "A total finance package worth US$3.71 billion in capital commitments to HPC was proportionately contributed by 9 Thai commercial banks – namely, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Government Savings Bank, Kasikornbank, Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Bank of Ayudhya, Thanachart Bank, and TMB Bank. As for long-term senior debts under the typical limited-recourse project financing scheme, the financial close took place in August 2010; while the first drawdown was made in October 2010. In addition to senior loan facilities, shareholders are committed to back-end equity injection."[9]

Project Details

  • Owner: Hongsa Power
  • Operator: Hongsa Power[1]
  • Location: near Nabalone, Xaignabouri province, Laos
  • Coordinates: 19.71005, 101.29842 (exact)
  • Status: Operating[1]
  • Production: 14.3 million tonnes per annum[1]
  • Mineable Reserve: 370.8 million tonnes[1]
  • Mine Type: Surface, opencase[1]
  • Mine Depth: 350 meters[1]
  • Coal Type: Lignite[1]
  • Consumer: Hongsa power station (mine-mouth)
  • Source of financing: 9 Thai commercial banks: Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Government Savings Bank, Kasikornbank, Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Bank of Ayudhya, Thanachart Bank, and TMB Bank

Resources and articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Hongsa Power, Coal Mine, Company Website, accessed November 2020
  2. "Hongsa Power Company Limited (HPC)," Hongsa Power, accessed July 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Government goes ahead Hongsa lignite power plant", Lao Voices, December 3, 2009. (This is a story from the KPL Lao News Agency).
  4. "Construction of Hongsa power plant going smoothly," Viet Stock, Aug 14, 2014
  5. "Laos’ Hongsa Power launches commercial power generation," Thai PBS, June 3, 2015
  6. "The Potential Impacts of Lignite Mining on the Environment and Local Livelihoods in Hongsa District, Sayabouli Province, Lao PDR."
  7. "NGOs Barred From Meeting Villagers Relocated for Lao Power Plant," RFA, May 7, 2013.
  8. "Hongsa Power company boosts income of relocated Lao villagers," Vientiane Times Asia News Network, January 11, 2015
  9. "Financing," Hongsa Power website, accessed December 2016

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External resources

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