Touching Everyday Lives – Nam Ngum 2, Lao PDR

A renewable source of electricity for millions, Nam Ngum 2, Lao PDR


Project facts

Client: Nam Ngum 2 Power Company Ltd

Country: Lao PDR

Type: Dam and hydro scheme for power generation

Installed capacity: 615 MW

Recharging the battery of Southeast Asia...

The Nam Ngum 2 Hydroelectric Power Project is located in Lao PDR. The facility holds an installed capacity of 615 megawatts and produces an annual energy of 2220 GWh.  The scheme has been awarded with the prestigious International Rockfill Dam Award as key milestone project.

Laos is known as “the battery of Southeast Asia” and a central source of its power flows from the Nam Ngum River, a tributary of the Mekong River which forms in this area the border between Lao PDR and Thailand.  It is on this river that the Nam Ngum 1 hydropower plant was established in the 1970s.  With rapidly growing energy demands from Thailand, the Nam Ngum 2 Power Company was created by a developer group to implement a further hydropower plant on this river, located just upstream of the existing lake on Nam Ngum 1, capturing a burgeoning energy market in South East Asia. The energy produced in the privately developed Nam Ngum 2 hydropower plant is sold to Thailand.

In an inherently complex industry, the Nam Ngum 2 Hydroelectric Power Project had more than its share of issues.  Pöyry has been connected with the project since the early 1990s. However, in 1996, with the onset of the Asian financial crisis, plans came to a halt until the region’s economic market stabilised. After nearly a decade, efforts were revitalised and work began in earnest in 2005.

The project was complex and took decades to go from initial vision to ultimate construction.  Throughout that journey, Pöyry remained a trusted partner of Nam Ngum 2 Power Company.  It’s this level of dedication—this willingness to stay connected even when the project looked like it would never achieve lilt-off—that makes Pöyry different from competitors. And that dedication paid off:  Nam Ngum 2 was recognized as one of five dams worldwide to receive the International Milestone Rockfill Dam Project Award.