Another Mekong River dam in Laos begins review process

Lao officials will soon submit plans for the Phou Ngoy Dam and hydropower plant to the Mekong River Commission for review, but villagers whose livelihoods would be hurt by the construction worry they will be left out of the process.

Thailand’s Charoen Energy and Water Asia Co. Ltd. is the lead developer of the U.S. $2.4 billion hydropower dam project, whose power is anticipated will be sold to Thailand. The 728-megawatt Phou Ngoy Dam in southern Laos’ Champassak province will be the seventh of nine existing or planned large-scale hydropower projects on the Mekong River mainstream.

“We can’t tell you what day or when exactly we’re going to do that,” said an official at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, who declined to be named to speak freely. “We think we’ll do it at the end of this year. Right now, we’re preparing the paperwork.”

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