Financing Electricite Du Laos, Creating Opportunities in Rural Areas

Thirty percent of Lao PDR has no access to electricity and those who do are mostly concentrated in the cities – a major obstacle to rural development. With a $15 million loan from IFC, state-owned Electricite du Laos is expanding electricity networks and substations in rural areas. By 2014, 37,000 rural households in central and southern Lao PDR will have reasonably priced electricity for the first time.

The investment supports the country’s rural electrification program, which is crucial to promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and generating jobs for a rapidly expanding workforce. By 2020, the government expects to provide electricity to 90 percent of Lao households.

IFC’s loan is part of the World Bank Group’s financial support package that includes a $20 million grant from the International Development Association and financing from the governments of Australia and Norway.