VIENTIANE, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- A ceremony to mark the installation of the first turbine of the 600 MW Monsoon Wind Power Project, the first of its kind in Laos, was recently held in southern Laos' Sekong province.
The wind farm will consist of 133 turbines, which are expected to be installed by the end of 2025 on a 1,000-hectare site stretching across 25 villages, Lao national TV reported on Tuesday.
Some 110 turbines will be installed in Dakcheung district and 23 in Sanxay district of Sekong province, with the electricity generated to be sold to Vietnam under a 25-year contract period.
Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone pressed a button to officially declare the first wind turbine open, and struck a gong as a gesture of gratitude for the project's progress.
Nat Hutanuwatr, managing director of the project's developer Monsoon Wind Power Company Limited, said each of the turbines will stand on a firm and eco-friendly foundation that is about 22 meters wide and 35 meters deep.
"The turbine has a diameter of 171 meters. The project is currently 30 percent complete and construction is expected to be finished and electricity generation to start in 2025," he added.
The generation of wind power is viewed as fundamental for the country's economic development and a contribution to solid, strong and sustainable growth.
Governor of Sekong province Leklai Sivilay said the project will help to improve the living standards of local people, including ethnic groups, by creating jobs, improving transport infrastructure, and facilitating access to farmland and remote villages.
"When the project is complete, it will help to attract nature-based tourism, which will enhance the economic and social development of the province and spur efforts to eradicate poverty," he added.
The Monsoon Wind Power Project entails a wind power project with a contracted capacity of 600 MW, located in Sekong province and Attapeu province and expected to export and sell electricity to neighboring Vietnam.
After completion, it will be the first wind power project in Laos, the largest in Southeast Asia and the first cross-border new energy project in Asia, according to the Monsoon Wind Power Company. ■