VIENTIANE, June 27 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysia’s largest electricity utility, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Electricite du Lao (EDL) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the potentials of hydropower in Laos which is expected to generate returns of US$98.60 million (RM460 million) to US$493.05 million (RM2.3 billion) a year to TNB beginning 2025.
It also has the potential to increase cross-border electricity trade in Asean and assist Laos to become the “Battery of Asia”. Electricite du Lao or EDL is the state corporation of Laos that owns and operates the country’s electricity generation, electricity transmission and electricity distribution assets. (US$1 = RM4.66)
The MoU which was signed today in conjunction with the two-day official visit of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, also aimed to increase Laos’ electricity export to Malaysia through the Malaysia-Thailand-Laos tripartite cooperation.
In addition to the MoU between TNB and EDL, Anwar who is also Malaysia’s Finance Minister, had witnessed the signing of two memoranda of cooperation (MoC).
The MoC involved Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) and Lao National Railway State Enterprise (LNRSE) in rail transportation, as well as Mutiara Perlis Sdn Bhd (MPSB) and Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) in inland port activities.
KTMB deal to increase cargo to Laos by 40 per cent
The collaboration between KTMB and LNRSE involves cooperation in rail transportation including technology transfer and capacity building to LNRSE and develop a single ticketing platform to facilitate travel for passengers and cargo movement from Malaysia to Laos.
Based on the outcome of this cooperation, it is expected that cargo from Malaysia to Laos would increase by 40 per cent or 1.2 million tonnes in the first year, and could potentially achieve a maximum of 2.4 million tonnes annually with revenue of RM120 million per year.
This rail network will be supported by the cooperation between Perlis Inland Port (PIP) and Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP), which would facilitate cargo movement at the border through Port-to-Port Arrangement.
To be jointly operated by PIP and TDP, this cooperation is capable of facilitating 20 million tonnes of cargo and could potentially generate returns to Malaysia of RM2.3 billion a year and provide 520 jobs directly and 3,400 job opportunities in related services.
During the signing ceremony, MPSB was represented by its group managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Wan Ahmad Zaheed Wan Mohamad while TDP was represented by its managing director Sakhone Philangam.
Besides that, other company representatives were KTMB group CEO Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin, LNRSE managing director Daochinda Siharath, TNB president and CEO Indera Baharin Din, as well as EDL managing director Chanthaboun Soukaloun.
The event was held at the Laos Prime Minister’s Office, here, witnessed by Anwar and Laos Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone.
Anwar is on a two-day official visit to Laos beginning on Monday, which is his maiden visit to the country after being sworn in as Prime Minister on Nov 24 last year.
The bilateral trade between Malaysia and Laos surged by 425 per cent in 2022 with trade hitting US$255.6 million (RM1.19 billion). Malaysia maintains as the fourth biggest investor in Laos with investments amounting to US$794 million (RM3.71 billion).
Source – NNN