On 25 August, the State-owned electricity distribution company Électricité du Laos (EDL) released an announcement that it will halt electric power supply to cryptocurrency mining operations. One of the main reasons is the difficulty of generating enough electricity under drought conditions.
In the first half of 2023, Laos suffered from a drought and the intense heat led to an increase in electricity demand, which caused a shortfall in hydropower generation.
According to EDL, hydropower plants generate 95% of the nation’s electricity through the EDL system. It intends to supply power locally and export large quantities to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) for the upcoming dry season in 2024. As the drought condition in Laos becomes severe, the exportation capacity will also be affected.
In a local media outlet Laos Times, an EDL employee said:
“Another reason we must suspend supplying electricity to cryptocurrency mining businesses in Laos is that they are unable to pay their outstanding electricity bills.”
Moreover, cryptocurrency mining operations are failing to pay off mounting debts, authorities in Laos said.