Hongsa power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Hongsa power station is an 1,878-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Xaignabouri, Laos.


The photo below shows the construction site at Ban Han, according to Wikimapia.

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The project is being 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%.[1]

The power station is proposed as a mine-mouth power station. 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.[1]

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).[1]

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

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.[3]

Unit 2 began operating on November 2, 2015.[4] Unit 3 was synchronized in December 2015,[5] and began commercial operation in March 2016.[6]

Unit 4

In May 2015 Ratch president Phongdit Potchana said the company planned to add a fourth unit to the plant. According to Phongdit, mining partner Banpu Plc had estimated 577 million tonnes of lignite reserves, more than the 371 million tonnes needed for the 25-year operation (2016-2014) of the first three units.[7]

However, in November 2016 the Laos government said it planned to delay a decision on developing the fourth unit for a decade or so. Officials said they want to formulate a clearer policy to develop the country's power sector before making any decision, and determine if there is enough domestic lignite coal to power the unit.[8]


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.[9]

It is reported that the project comprises of a large open pit lignite mine which will supply 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.[10]


In 2010, the Hongsa project “has met protests from environmentalists and from local residents.” About 2,000 villagers were planning to intensify their campaign against the project, claiming widespread pollution issues. They have “erected protest banners and posters in front of houses and schools and along streets in the area.”[11]

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.[12] Nearly 2,000 people were moved to new locations.[13]

Local fisherman and citizens have resisted against the Thai-backed power plant. An example of overarching resistance was the Break Free movement in 2016, which was an anti-coal movement in Thailand.[14]. In February 2017, protestors also wore green T-shirts and raised banners that read “No Coal” or “Save the Environment” in front of the Government House in Thailand.[15]


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."[16][17]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Hongsa Power
  • Parent company:
  • Developer:
  • Location: Ban Han-Hongsa district, Xaignabouri province, Laos
  • Coordinates: 19.6912838, 101.2782168 (exact)
  • Status: Units 1-3: Operating; Unit 4: Shelved
  • Capacity: 2,504 MW (Units 1-4: 626 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Start date:
    • Unit 1&2: 2015
    • Unit 3: 2016
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source: Hongsa coal mine (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 "Government goes ahead Hongsa lignite power plant", Lao Voices, December 3, 2009. (This is a story from the KPL Lao News Agency).
  2. "Construction of Hongsa power plant going smoothly," Viet Stock, Aug 14, 2014
  3. "Laos’ Hongsa Power launches commercial power generation," Thai PBS, June 3, 2015
  4. "Coal-Fired Plants Elsewhere," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  5. "Laos inaugurates largest coal-fired power plant constructed by China," China.org, Dec 10, 2015
  6. "Unit 3 started the commercial operation," Hongsa Power, Mar 2, 2016
  7. Apornrath Phoonphonphiphat, "Ratch wants fourth Hongsa unit in Laos," Bangkok Post, 25 May 2015
  8. "Ratch delays plans for fourth unit at Hongsa plant," Bangkok Post, Nov 21, 2016
  9. "Hongsa Power Company Limited (HPC)," Hongsa Power, accessed July 2014.
  10. "The Potential Impacts of Lignite Mining on the Environment and Local Livelihoods in Hongsa District, Sayabouli Province, Lao PDR."
  11. , "PFI – Hongsa to light up Laos", Reuters, Minerva Lau, July 30, 2010.
  12. "NGOs Barred From Meeting Villagers Relocated for Lao Power Plant," RFA, May 7, 2013.
  13. "Hongsa Power company boosts income of relocated Lao villagers," Vientiane Times Asia News Network, January 11, 2015
  14. "Climate Change and the Ugly Truth about Thailand’s Relationship with Coal", EarthRights International, November 20, 2017.
  15. "Forget Coal and Embrace Energy 3.0", Myanmar Times, February 21, 2017.
  16. "Financing," Hongsa Power website, accessed December 2016
  17. "Preview of Hongsa Thermal Power Plant (1878MW) | Transaction | IJGlobal". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 2020-11-23.

Related GEM.wiki articles

External resources

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