Laos to proceed with seventh Mekong dam despite impact concerns

Pressing ahead with its vision to become the “Battery of Southeast Asia,” the government of Laos is going forward with plans to build its seventh of nine mainstream dams on the Mekong River, despite widespread concerns that it could inflict social and environmental damage.

The 728-megawatt Phou Ngoy Dam, with a projected completion date of 2029, would join the currently operational Xayaburi and Don Sahong Dams as well as the Pak Beng, Pak Lay, Luang Prabang and Sanakham Dams, in various stages of planning. Two others, Pak Chom and Ban Koum, will follow.

The US$2.4 billion dam is a joint investment between the Charoen Energy and Water Asia Company of Thailand and the Lao government, and will be constructed through a partnership between South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and Korea Western Power. 

Electricity generated by the dam will mostly be sold to Thailand, although it will also be used to power parts of southern Laos.

Keep reading

Translated by Sidney Khotpanya. Edited by Joshua Lipes and Malcolm Foster.