IFC Coaches the Top Lao Hydroelectricity Firm on Managing Environmental and Social Risks



Vientiane, Lao PDR, October 27, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping EDL-Generation Public Company (EDL-GEN), the largest hydroelectricity generator in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, improve its management of environmental and social risks so that the company can operate more sustainably. 


EDL-GEN and IFC hosted a five-day training last week for 25 professionals from the company and its major shareholder, Electricite du Laos. Participants gained an in-depth understanding of the business case for sustainability and IFC’s Performance Standards, which are recognized globally as a benchmark of environmental and social standards guiding companies on how to mitigate risks and do business sustainably. 


“IFC’s training helps our employees understand project risks better and how to apply IFC Performance Standards to their assigned tasks,” said Souksanh Phongphila, EDL-GEN’s Director of the Corporate Support and Administration Department. “We are planning to develop a larger environmental and social team that will support the sustainable construction of hydropower plants and provide support to communities surrounding project sites." 


Established in 2010, EDL-GEN is the first public company in Lao PDR and has seven hydropower projects underway throughout the country, generating 387 megawatts of power. EDL-GEN sells the majority of its electricity to its state-owned parent Electricite du Laos. EDL-GEN has invested in four independent power producers in Lao PDR, including a 60 percent stake in Theun Hinboun hydropower project and a 25 percent stake in Nam Ngum 2 as well as Nam Lik 1 and 2. The company plans to expand its business by taking over existing Electricite du Laos projects, including Huay Lamphan Yai, Nam Khan 2, Nam Khan 3, and Nam Sana hydropower plants. 


IFC’s training also provided the participants with the opportunity to apply what they learned in practical field exercises at hydropower sites around Vientiane province. For example, they created a checklist to determine whether a project complied with IFC’s Performance Standards.


“Our training helps demystify IFC’s Performance Standards,” said Pablo Cardinale, IFC’s Principal Environmental Specialist based in Washington D.C. “When participants return to their jobs, we hope that they will try to understand their projects better and approach their work through a new lens.”


In the Mekong region, IFC provides companies with tools to manage their environmental and social risks to lower the impact they face with hydropower development.


Globally, IFC has an active renewable- energy portfolio including hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. In the 2014 fiscal year, IFC supported 55 energy projects across Africa, Asia, Eastern and Southern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. 


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.


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