Laos pushes forward with hydro hub plans

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Son-La-hydroelectricWork on the Don Sahong dam, located on the southernmost point of Laos, has commenced, creating a stir in Cambodia and Vietnam, located downstream and directly affected by the project.

The proposed 360-megawatt hydropower plant is the second project outlined in the landlocked ASEAN country’s ambitions to harness the Mekong. Its hydro hub master plan could involve the construction of up to 70 dams.

News of the dams construction was broken on June 26 by International Rivers, an environmental group, which visited the site of the dam at the Khone Falls in Champassak province.

“Villagers reported to us that construction on the Don Sahong Dam’s bridge and access roads will begin in 2014,” said Ame Trandem, International Rivers’ Southeast Asia Programme Director.

Making matters worse, Laos seems to be showing a trend in shirking multilateral mechanisms. Laos’ first megadam, Xayaburi began construction through financing by a Thai bank, including Siam Commercial, which is partially owned by the Thai crown, without waiting for a decision from the MRC.

On June 27 and 28, the MRC is to hold talks in Phnom Penh, including Australia, Finland, Japan, Sweden and the United States, among others. A public statement will follow the meeting.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Work on the Don Sahong dam, located on the southernmost point of Laos, has commenced, creating a stir in Cambodia and Vietnam, located downstream and directly affected by the project.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Son-La-hydroelectricWork on the Don Sahong dam, located on the southernmost point of Laos, has commenced, creating a stir in Cambodia and Vietnam, located downstream and directly affected by the project.

The proposed 360-megawatt hydropower plant is the second project outlined in the landlocked ASEAN country’s ambitions to harness the Mekong. Its hydro hub master plan could involve the construction of up to 70 dams.

News of the dams construction was broken on June 26 by International Rivers, an environmental group, which visited the site of the dam at the Khone Falls in Champassak province.

“Villagers reported to us that construction on the Don Sahong Dam’s bridge and access roads will begin in 2014,” said Ame Trandem, International Rivers’ Southeast Asia Programme Director.

Making matters worse, Laos seems to be showing a trend in shirking multilateral mechanisms. Laos’ first megadam, Xayaburi began construction through financing by a Thai bank, including Siam Commercial, which is partially owned by the Thai crown, without waiting for a decision from the MRC.

On June 27 and 28, the MRC is to hold talks in Phnom Penh, including Australia, Finland, Japan, Sweden and the United States, among others. A public statement will follow the meeting.

 

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