A long-dormant plan to build a mega dam on the mainstream of the Mekong River in Cambodia’s northeastern Stung Treng province appears to have been revived this year, leaving locals immediately downstream of the potential sites worried and experts confounded.
First studied in 2007, the 1,400-megawatt hydropower project, known as the Stung Treng dam, has reared its head in many forms, only to be canceled or scrapped. Finally, in 2020, Cambodia’s government announced a 10-year ban on damming the Mekong River’s mainstream, placing the Stung Treng dam and others on indefinite life support.
However, on Dec. 29, 2021, Royal Group — arguably Cambodia’s largest and best-connected conglomerate — wrote to the government, requesting permission to conduct a six-month feasibility study across a number of sites along the Mekong in a bid to revive the long-sought-after hydropower project.
Gerald Flynn, Nehru Pry