Electricity production

Hydropower dams

Thailand Rejects New Technical Report on Large-Scale Lao Mekong Mainstream Dam

Thailand has rejected a new technical report on Laos’ Sanakham dam project, one of nine large-scale Mekong River mainstream dams integral to Vientiane’s controversial economic strategy of becoming the “Battery of Southeast Asia.” The 684-megawatt Sanakham dam is one of seven future dams in various stages ...

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

Ministry draws up plan to inspect dams every five years

Laos is preparing a nationwide hydropower inspection procedure which will be carried out every five years to ensure safety and the maintenance of standards. Director General of the Department of Energy Management, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Mr Bouathep Malaykham, told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that in ...

Khonesavanh Latsaphao

Why is Laos building Mekong dams it doesn't need?

Thailand’s economic slump during the coronavirus pandemic led to a drop in electricity demand, with Thai officials estimating power reserves currently at 50% over total capacity.  However, despite the Thai surplus, hydroelectric dams are still being developed next door in Laos, Thailand’s top provider of electricity. Critics say the dam projects are not driven ...

Emmy Sasipornkarn

In the Face of Criticism, Laos Pushes Ahead With Four Mekong Dams

As a struggling least developed country, Laos stands alone when it comes to ignoring common sense and pushing ahead with infrastructure development that it can ill-afford and is unlikely to deliver its much hoped-for rags to riches outcome. Energy and Mines Minister Sinavav Souphanouvong made that ...

Luke Hunt

Opinion: Tensions rise along the Mekong as science meets strategy

China has been ramping up its investments with the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism, which – according to American officials – is an attempt to compete with the Mekong River Commission (MRC). A competition over who dominates scientific and technical knowledge of the river indicates an escalation in the complexity of challenges ...

Giulio Boccaletti

Mekong 'dammed' by uncertainty

Last week, it was reported that Chinese authorities notified the Mekong River Commission (MRC) that Jinghong Dam in Yunnan province will reduce its rate of water discharge by half from the beginning of the month until late January. For communities living along the Mekong, unusual ...

NIWAT ROYKAEW

Mekong dam: China cuts river flow 50 per cent, is slammed for lack of warning

China’s decision to hold back the Mekong River’s water flow at a hydropower dam for close to a month will disrupt fisheries and local livelihoods along the waterway that is a lifeline for 60 million people, watchers and activists have warned. The Chinese water resources ministry ...

Catherine Wong and Maria Siow

Mekong drowned in water politics

The mighty Mekong River is the heart and soul of Southeast Asia. Millions of livelihoods are linked to it, especially in terms of food, energy and water security. Besides giving birth to one of the planet’s most biodiverse river basins, the transboundary nature of the ...

EDITORIAL

China Belatedly Notifies Mekong Nations of River Disruption

Earlier this week, I wrote about the sudden drop in water levels along the Mekong River in northern Thailand, and their likely link to the filling of a dam reservoir upstream in China. The fall first became apparent on January 4, when locals in the Thai port town ...

Sebastian Strangio

Mekong Levels Reportedly Plummet Due to Chinese Dam Activity

Water levels on the Mekong River have fallen due to the filling of a Chinese dam on the upper reaches of the river in Yunnan province, according to locals and river monitors. The fall was reported on January 4, when locals in the Thai port town ...

Sebastian Strangio

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