Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Leader ... Jun11

Leader Universal Holdings Bhd, the country's largest wire and cable producer, is close to securing a US$30 million (RM91.5 million) contract to help build a power plant in Laos.

Talks between Leader and the Laotian authorities are in the final leg and could be concluded as early as June 2011.

People familiar with the operations of the company, said Leader is in the midst of wrapping up a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the authorities in Laos. At least two independent sources confirmed that Leader is indeed interested in the power project in Laos.

The contract is to help build a 30 megawatt (MW) power plant. If Leader indeed manages to secure the contract, this will be the company's third power plant aboard.

Leader's involvement in the power business started in 1994 when it signed a PPA for the first independent power producer (IPP) plant in Cambodia to build-operate-transfer a 35MW diesel engine power plant in Phnom Penh.

It then secured a second IPP project in Cambodia upon signing a PPA in September 2009 to build-operate-own a 100MW coal-fired power plant in Sihanoukville.

Meanwhile, the source also said that Leader is eyeing more power plant projects in Indochina namely in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Other Malaysian companies are also eyeing power projects in Indochina, especially in Laos, as the government is putting in place several hydro-power plants this year to accelerate its economic growth.

According to news reports, the government is promoting investment in the construction of small- and medium- sized hydropower plants to supply domestic consumption.

The Laotian government aims to expand its national electricity grid to all districts by 2015 to some 90 per cent of Lao households by 2020.

Currently, only about 70 per cent of Lao families have access to electricity.

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