South Korea’s Daewoo has decided to halve its equity in the 126MW Huai Ho hydro project in southern Lao PDR, due mainly to liquidity problems at home, according to the Australian Mekong Resource Centre. Sithe Industries from the US, already active in the region through the Bangkok-based Sithe Energies Group, is expected to take up the slack.

Sithe has hired Tasmania’s HECEC engineering consultants to undertake an environmental audit of the project before they buy in. If they do, they will join the Loa government, Loxley in Bangkok and Daewoo as shareholders in the project.

Due to start supplying the Thai grid with power in September 1999, Huai Ho has already had to renegotiate its pricing contract with the Electricity Generating Auth-ority of Thailand following the depreciation of the baht. At present 55% of the power purchase price will be denominated in US dollars.