Economic comparison of alternative power resource development plans in the lower Mekong Basin Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/db78tg02h

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  • 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 period studied. 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 Sambor project. 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.
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