Laos to plough on with third Mekong dam project

Laos is pushing ahead with a hydropower project on the Mekong River, despite reservations aired by neighbouring countries over its potential to harm fisheries and farming downstream, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said on Wednesday.

The 1,400-megawatt (MW) Luang Prabang project will be Laos’s third and largest dam on the river, with construction originally set to begin this year.

The governments of Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam flagged their concerns to Laos and urged more time to assess the impact after the commission officially completed a six-month consultation process for the project on Tuesday.

“While the three countries recognised the sovereignty and rights of (Laos) … they requested that Lao PDR take due account of their recommendations,” the commission said in a statement.