Energy

New energy solutions are crucial to developing the Greater Mekong Subregion, where power demand is surging. These include improving energy efficiency and cross-border power trading. The Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee (RPTCC) manages regional power trade in the subregion.


Greater Mekong Subregion countries are in varying stages of economic development, but they share common goals concerning energy security and environmental protection. Some have made significant progress in promoting renewable energy, clean fuels, and energy efficiency.

New energy solutions are crucial to the subregion’s advancement. Demand for energy is surging, and by some estimates demand for energy in the lower Mekong countries – Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Viet Nam – is expected to nearly triple from 317 terawatt-hours in 2012 to 815 terawatt-hours in 2025.

Their rapidly improving economies have allowed GMS countries to respond to this demand with extensive power generation projects. Gas-fired plants are expected to nearly double to about 54 plants with 24,000 megawatts during the same period. Renewable sources such as solar, wind, and biomass are not yet prevalent in the subregion, but the number of projects is increasing rapidly.

GMS countries are addressing the complexities of meeting this surging energy demand by taking a regional approach that allows for the most cost-efficient projects using a diverse range of energy sources. They are also sharing experiences and lessons learned.

Countries are enhancing the regional coordination of power trading, including the exchange of information on energy sector plans and projects. The ultimate goal is to provide an adequate supply of energy throughout the subregion at an affordable price, and to bring the economic benefits of a reliable energy supply to people in rural areas, while at the same time encouraging investment.

The GMS Road Map for Expanded Cooperation in the Energy Sector is helping to guide efforts in planning and implementing projects for power generation, cross-border interconnections, and for improving country transmission systems. National projects are being developed with an eye toward the development of regional power trade arrangements that will increase efficiency and lower energy costs for consumers.

Related

GMS Road Map for Expanded Energy Cooperation

Update of the GMS Regional Master Plan

Study: Building a Sustainable Energy Future - The Greater Mekong Subregion

Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee (RPTCC)

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Pradeep Tharakan (lead)
    Energy Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Duy-Thanh Bui
    Energy Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Atsumasa Sakai
    Sustainable Infrastructure Division,
    East Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Hyunjung Lee
    Energy Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Minnie Zarah Ramas
    Energy Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Jeffrey Almera
    Energy Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Pinsuda Alexander
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Rafaelita Jamon
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

The 73-megawatt Lopburi Solar Farm is the largest solar photovoltaic project in the world. It is integral to Thailand's efforts to generate energy from renewable sources. Photo by ADB.

ADB Launches Support to Help Countries in Southeast Asia Accelerate Transition to Clean Energy

The Energy Division of the Asian Development Bank’s Southeast Asia Department launched the Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition in Southeast Asia knowledge and support technical assistance to support the countries of Southeast Asia (SEA) accelerate their transition to cleaner forms of energy.  

GMS in the News

Viet Nam Electricity Signs Power Purchase Agreement with Lao PDR Wind Farm

Viet Nam Electricity and Impact Energy Asia Development (IEAD) Limited signed the 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Monsoon Wind Project on 12 July 2021. The 600-megawatt wind energy project will be the largest wind farm in Southeast Asia and the first cross-border wind energy project. It will be located in Sekong and Attapeu provinces in Southern Lao PDR, and export green energy to Central Vietnam through a 500 kilovolt transmission line. Construction is expected to begin in 2022, with commercial operation aimed for 2025.  

GMS in the News

The project will generate an average of 422 gigawatt-hours of electricity and avoid an average of 162,430 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Phot oby Power Construction Joint Stock Company No. 1

ADB Signs Green Loan to Develop 144 MW Wind Farms in Viet Nam

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $116 million green loan with Lien Lap Wind Power Joint Stock Company (Lien Lap), Phong Huy Wind Power Joint Stock Company (Phong Huy), and Phong Nguyen Wind Power Joint Stock Company (Phong Nguyen) to build and operate three 48-megawatt (MW) wind farms, totaling 144 MW, in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam. The project will increase Viet Nam’s wind power capacity by 30%, helping the country meet the rapidly growing demand for energy. 

News Releases

Transmission tower in Lao PDR. Photo by IG (CC BY 2.0).

Lao PDR Signs Concession Agreement with Electricity Joint Venture

The Government of Lao PDR and the Electricite du Laos Transmission Company Limited (EDL-T), the joint venture between China Southern Power Grid and Electricite du Laos of the Lao PDR, have signed a Concession Agreement on 11 March. The agreement states that EDL-T will serve as the country's national power grid operator under the supervision of the Government of Lao PDR. It will invest, construct, and operate power grids (230 kilovolts and above), and implement grid interconnection projects between Lao PDR and its neighbors.  

GMS in the News

Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) 2021: Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners will collectively zero in on strategies and policy responses that countries can adopt to lay the groundwork for post-COVID-19 recovery at the upcoming Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

GMS in the News

The 12th Mekong-Japan Summit took place virtually on 13 November as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Photo by VNA via VNExplorer.

12th Mekong-Japan Summit Highlights How Cooperation Enhances Connectivity in the Subregion

Japan and Mekong countries convened the 12th Mekong-Japan Summit on 13 November, cochaired by Japan Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The meeting underscored Japan’s strong commitment to the Mekong subregion and reviewed progress of cooperation between Japan and Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic [PDR], Thailand, Myanmar, and Viet Nam) as guided by the "Tokyo Strategy 2018." The Strategy seeks to strengthen connectivity, improve human resource development, and enhance environmental protection.

GMS in the News

Top row, left to right: Dr. Danucha Pichayanan, Deputy Secretary General, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (Thailand); Mr. Liu Weihua, Deputy Director General, Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation, Ministry of Finance (PRC); Mr. Alfredo Perdiguero, Director, SERC, ADB. Middle row: Mr. Than Aung Kyaw, Director General, FERD, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations (Myanmar). Bottom row, left to right: Ms. Sisomboun Ounavong, Director General, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment (Lao PDR); Dr. Pham Hoang Mai, Director General, Foreign Economic Relations Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment (Viet Nam); and H.E. Mr. Ros Seilava, Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance (Cambodia) 

GMS Senior Officials’ Meeting Reviews COVID-19 Response Initiatives and Prepares for Upcoming Events

A GMS Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) was held on 11 September 2020 via web-based conferencing to review (i) proposed key GMS strategic planning documents and knowledge products, which includes GMS COVID-19 response initiatives and the new long-term strategy for the GMS program, and (ii) preparations for upcoming GMS events—the 11th Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-11), the 24th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-24), and the 7th GMS Summit (Summit-7).  

Events

At the grounbreaking ceremony of the V1-2 wind power plant. Photo by VNA via Viet Nam Plus

Construction of Viet Nam-Thailand Wind Power Plant Begins

The joint venture V1-2 wind power plant between the Truong Thanh Viet Nam Group and the Sermsang Power Corporation Public Company Limited of Thailand launched construction in Tra Vinh, Viet Nam, on 14 August. The 48 MW peak facility consists of 12 wind turbines to be built on 1,220 hectares in the Truong Long Hoa commune, Duyen Hai town. The project is estimated to cost around $96 million (2.23 trillion VND), and is expected to generate around 163 million kWh of electricity each year. 

GMS in the News

The Lopburi solar power plant in central Thailand. Photo by ADB.

Eight Priorities for Kickstarting Post-Pandemic Green and Resilient Recovery in the GMS

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted people’s health and well-being, led to widespread job loss, and created extraordinary uncertainty with long-lasting effects. As with climate change, the pandemic has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable people across the globe, including those in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).  

GMS in the News