Founded on December 18, 1961, Électricité du Laos is the oldest state-owned electricity company in Indochina, established before the Cambodian electricity company, Electricite du Cambodge (EDC), in 1979, and Vietnam’s Northern Power Corporation (EVNNPC) in 1969.
Électricité du Laos is the business unit of the government that conducts the operations of production, management, service and development of electricity that is aligned with the policy of the Party and laws of the state, the market mechanism in the supply of electricity to the consumers of both domestic and overseas that is ensuring a sufficient manner. Actively contributes to social-economic development plans enforced by the Party and government. Revenues generated from exporting electricity contribute to the country in a monetary term.
In July 2010, the International Finance Corporation loaned $15 million to Electricite du Laos for the expansion of electricity networks and substations in rural areas of Laos. The company has also received debt financing from the Asian Development Bank. By 2020, the government expects to provide electricity to 90 percent of Lao households.
In September 2020, Reuters reported that the Électricité du Laos and the China Southern Power Grid Company (CSPGC) established the joint venture Electricite du Laos Transmission Company Ltd (EDLT) that has control of the country’s power grid, as well as the rights to purchase and sell power in Laos to stave off a debt default to the Chinese government. The CSPGC owns a majority share of the EDLT, but the Lao and Chinese governments have made a written agreement in which the Lao government will gradually buy Chinese shares back.