More dam projects underway in Laos

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A set of three more dams have been contracted by the Lao government to be built and operated on key tributaries of the Mekong River, adding to the anguish already being felt by bordering nations in the region over the controversial Xayaburi dam.

South Korean firm SK Engineering & Construction was rewarded the reported $1 billion worth of contracts for the dams, which will make up the Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant, and cut across the Se Kong River in three places in southern Laos into the Bolaven Plateau just 100 kilometers from the Cambodian border.

Sang Lee, an employee of SK Engineering & Construction, has confirmed in an interview with the Phnom Penh Post that the project has already begun arranging initial stages of the contract.

“As far as I know, they’re trying to arrange finances, and at this stage, they are working on technical documents,” Lee said. “I’m not so sure about when construction will start.”

The new plant will generate an estimated 400 megawatts of electricity and be part of a much larger vision of the Lao government to turn the country’s rivers into a powerhouse that provides 8 per cent of energy demand for Southeast Asia by 2025.

The scheme is said to require the construction of 11 dams throughout fast-flowing sections of the lower Mekong, but Lee has been quoted as saying that the idea has been expanded substantially to include more than 70 dams.

The Lao government has failed to release documents on the assessment of the environmental impact for these dams and the larger project underway in Xayaburi, leading to condemnation by a varied range of international organisations that worry over the dams harm to fishing and food security in those living downstream.

Controversially, up to 90 per cent of the power generated from these dams will not go to the underdeveloped, landlocked nation, but sold across the border to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, according to info posted on a website run by Team Group, a consultancy involved with the Xe-Namnoy plant.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

A set of three more dams have been contracted by the Lao government to be built and operated on key tributaries of the Mekong River, adding to the anguish already being felt by bordering nations in the region over the controversial Xayaburi dam.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A set of three more dams have been contracted by the Lao government to be built and operated on key tributaries of the Mekong River, adding to the anguish already being felt by bordering nations in the region over the controversial Xayaburi dam.

South Korean firm SK Engineering & Construction was rewarded the reported $1 billion worth of contracts for the dams, which will make up the Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant, and cut across the Se Kong River in three places in southern Laos into the Bolaven Plateau just 100 kilometers from the Cambodian border.

Sang Lee, an employee of SK Engineering & Construction, has confirmed in an interview with the Phnom Penh Post that the project has already begun arranging initial stages of the contract.

“As far as I know, they’re trying to arrange finances, and at this stage, they are working on technical documents,” Lee said. “I’m not so sure about when construction will start.”

The new plant will generate an estimated 400 megawatts of electricity and be part of a much larger vision of the Lao government to turn the country’s rivers into a powerhouse that provides 8 per cent of energy demand for Southeast Asia by 2025.

The scheme is said to require the construction of 11 dams throughout fast-flowing sections of the lower Mekong, but Lee has been quoted as saying that the idea has been expanded substantially to include more than 70 dams.

The Lao government has failed to release documents on the assessment of the environmental impact for these dams and the larger project underway in Xayaburi, leading to condemnation by a varied range of international organisations that worry over the dams harm to fishing and food security in those living downstream.

Controversially, up to 90 per cent of the power generated from these dams will not go to the underdeveloped, landlocked nation, but sold across the border to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, according to info posted on a website run by Team Group, a consultancy involved with the Xe-Namnoy plant.

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