Thailand Rejects New Technical Report on Large-Scale Lao Mekong Mainstream Dam

Thailand has rejected a new technical report on Laos’ Sanakham dam project, one of nine large-scale Mekong River mainstream dams integral to Vientiane’s controversial economic strategy of becoming the “Battery of Southeast Asia.”

The 684-megawatt Sanakham dam is one of seven future dams in various stages of planning. At a cost of about U.S. $2 billion, it would take eight years to complete once construction starts in Laos’ northwestern Xayaburi province.

Thailand’s Office of National Water Resources told RFA’s Lao Service Tuesday that it does not accept the revisions submitted Jan. 15 to the Thai National Mekong River Committee by the Chinese dam developer, Datang Corporation Limited.

“Both our office and the Mekong committee concluded that the information in the new report is still not sufficient. More study is required,” said Somkiat Prajamwong, the office’s secretary general.

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Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Eugene Whong.