Laos Plans New Coal-Fired Power Plant in Sekong Province

Laos has plans to build a new coal-fired power plant in Sekong province in the southeastern part of the country, raising concerns among local residents and environmental groups who fear damage to area farmland and forests, sources in the one-party communist state say.

Permission to carry out the project has been granted to the Singapore-based Evolution Power Investment Corporation (EPIC) working together with a Lao firm, the Khounmixay Bridge and Road Construction and Repair Company, an official of the Ministry of Energy and Mines told RFA on Tuesday.

“The company [EPIC] has just gained the concession,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A large reserve holding up to 700 million tons of lignite, a soft coal, was found many years ago by a foreign company contracted to explore in Sekong’s Dac Chung district, the official said, adding “The reserve has been well studied since 2008.”

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RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Richard Finney.