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.

Viet Nam President Undertakes First Official State Visit to Lao PDR

Viet Nam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao PDR President Thongloun Sisoulith pledged to continue to give the highest priority to their bilateral cooperation, and noted the need to closely coordinate in Mekong subregional cooperation mechanisms. The Viet Nam President was in Lao PDR on 9-10 August for his first official overseas visit. On 9 August, he held talks with his counterpart.

GMS in the News

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

Meeting photo via Viet Nam Plus

Second Mekong-U.S. Partnership Ministerial Meeting Underscores U.S. Commitment to the Subregion

The second Mekong-U.S. Partnership Ministerial Meeting held on 2 August 2021 unveiled four flagship projects under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, and noted the 8.5 million vaccine doses and over $58 million in U.S. COVID-19 assistance to the Mekong subregion countries.

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

Representative image only. Photo by ADB.

Lao PDR to Export Wind Power and Supply Viet Nam with Renewable Electricity

Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan will invest in an onshore wind farm in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) that will supply electricity to Viet Nam. The facility is set to have power generation capacity of 600 megawatts (MW) and is eyed to become the largest onshore wind farm in Southeast Asia. The project will be Lao PDR’s first endeavor in exporting wind power.   

GMS in the News

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

Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam Leaders Vow to Boost Cooperation against COVID-19 and Strengthen Trade

Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a virtual discussion on 10 March 2021. They lauded their growing relationship and agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and in other sectors, including connectivity, energy, and trade and investment.  

Lao PDR expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s medical supply donation to help them combat COVID-19.  

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