News

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 ...

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

Ministry draws up plan to inspect dams every five years

Laos is preparing a nationwide hydropower inspection procedure which will be carried out every five years to ensure safety and the maintenance of standards. Director General of the Department of Energy Management, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Mr Bouathep Malaykham, told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that in ...

Khonesavanh Latsaphao

Unemployment In Laos Soared By 20 Percent In 2020

The unemployment rate in Laos skyrocketed to 20 percent in 2020, a 10.6 percent increase compared to the figures for 2017, and the global Covid-19 outbreak was the main factor for the sharp increase in the number of jobless in the country. The pandemic forced thousands ...

Vientiane Times

Despite COVID-19 Crunch, China-Mekong Integration Continues

Earlier this week, Myanmar and China formally agreed to begin work on an important section of a long-delayed railway project running from Yunnan province to the Indian Ocean. On January 10, the state-run Myanmar Railways and the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group (CREEG) signed an agreement to conduct ...

Sebastian Strangio

Why is Laos building Mekong dams it doesn't need?

Thailand’s economic slump during the coronavirus pandemic led to a drop in electricity demand, with Thai officials estimating power reserves currently at 50% over total capacity.  However, despite the Thai surplus, hydroelectric dams are still being developed next door in Laos, Thailand’s top provider of electricity. Critics say the dam projects are not driven ...

Emmy Sasipornkarn

In the Face of Criticism, Laos Pushes Ahead With Four Mekong Dams

As a struggling least developed country, Laos stands alone when it comes to ignoring common sense and pushing ahead with infrastructure development that it can ill-afford and is unlikely to deliver its much hoped-for rags to riches outcome. Energy and Mines Minister Sinavav Souphanouvong made that ...

Luke Hunt

Construction begins on fifth bridge linking Laos, Thailand

Work on a fifth bridge linking Laos and Thailand across the Mekong River has begun after a construction agreement was signed in December. The bridge, which will take 36 months to build, will connect Bolikhamxay province in Laos to Thailand’s north-eastern province of Bueng Kan. Local daily ...

Frontline medical staff vaccinated, more Covid-19 vaccines expected

Some frontline medical workers have been vaccinated against Covid-19 thanks to China’s provision of 2,000 doses of vaccine, the Minister of Health has said. The first round of vaccinations has been administered to volunteer medical staff, according to Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong. “The vaccinations produced good ...

Souksakhone Vaenkeo

Famous Tha Heua Fish Market Faces Abandonment Following Expressway Opening

Vang Vieng’s Tha Heua Market faces total abandonment after the expressway has caused motorists to bypass it when traveling to the resort town. According to a report by Vientiane Times, Tha Heua Market, popular with motorists entering Vang Vieng, is rapidly losing customers, with many vendors shutting down ...

Phayboune Thanabouasy

Lao Plan to Build Another Big Mekong Dam Dismays Villagers, Concerns Thais

Laos is preparing to build what will be its seventh of nine planned large-scale Mekong River mainstream dams, the latest project in its controversial economic strategy to become the “battery of Southeast Asia,” sources in the country told RFA. The 728-megawatt Phou Ngoy Dam, with a ...

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

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