|Abstract or Summary
- In this thesis a system analysis compares power development
plans for the 1980 decade in the Mekong countries i.e. Laos, Thailand
Cambodia, and South Vietnam. Given the decision to invest in power
development, an economic evaluation is made of complete system
developments rather than just hydro or thermal plants. The power
resources considered will adequately serve the Mekong countries from
1980 to 1990. Therefore it is assumed the benefits of the investment,
however measured, are the same regardless of which system is developed.
In this study, five alternative plans are evaluated. These include
one all thermal system, two combined hydro-thermal systems,
and two all hydro systems. Two large hydro projects along the main-stem of the Mekong river, i.e. Pa Mong and Sambor, are used in the
hydro system alternatives. In each alternative the resources and the transmission systems are scheduled to meet the growing load over the
Discounted cashflow is used as the basic method of analysis. A
computer model is developed to perform the huge amount of calculations
necessary to map out the year by year pattern of cashflow for
each alternative extending over the study period. The present value of
cost is also computed from the model at different discount rates.
This permits drawing a curve showing the present value of cost of the
different alternatives for all discount rates considered.
The analysis of results shows that the hydro system alternatives
are favored over thermal development at all discount rates up to 13
percent. This clearly supports a recommendation for the development
of one of the hydro system alternatives in the Lower Mekong basin
during the next decade.
A sensitivity analysis is used in this study to show how much the
rate of return on investment is affected by the variation of some important
cost components of the system. The results of sensitivity analysis
has shown that the investment cost of thermal plant is the most
sensitive item; the next most critical item is the fuel expense and the
least critical of those considered is the cost of dam and reservoir of
In comparing the two hydro system alternatives, the system
which proposes to interconnect the entire four country Mekong system
load in the same year that Pa Mong project will start its initial operation is shown to be the best alternative at any discount rate
greater than five percent. (This system has a rate of return on additional
investment over thermal alternative of about 13 percent).
However, the present value of cost of these two alternatives is shown
to be only slightly different at discount rates ranging from 6 to 10 percent.
Therefore, prior to any final decision it is recommended that
cost components of the hydro system alternatives (i.e. transmission
line Bangkok-Sambor and Sambor hydro-electric powerplant) be
studied in detail.
The results of this study are considered as one of the early steps
needed in making a decision on early resource development, and the
further application of this procedure will make a major contribution
to the long-range resource development program of the Mekong Basin.