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Laos pushes ahead with sixth Mekong River dam project

Laos has submitted plans to build a new hydropower dam on the Mekong River, with construction expected to start later this year, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said on Monday.

Ngày đăng: 21 tháng 3, 2021
Cập nhật: 12 tháng 1, 2022
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Laos has submitted plans to build a new hydropower dam on the Mekong River, with construction expected to start later this year, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said on Monday.

Laos has submitted plans to build a new hydropower dam on the Mekong River, with construction expected to start later this year, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said on Monday.

The Sanakham hydropower plant, with an estimated cost of $2.073 billion USD, will be developed by Datang Sanakham hydropower company, a subsidiary of Datang International Power Generation Co.Ltd., the MRC said.

Hydropower development is central to the Lao government's plan to export around 20,000 MW of electricity to neighboring countries by 2030, and the latest project will be the sixth of nine dams on the Mekong mainstream. planned in Laos.

Laos completed two dams on the Mekong River, the 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi Dam and the 260-megawatt Don Sahong Dam last year, despite objections from environmental groups.

Opponents say the dams threaten a river system whose fisheries, silt and seasonal flooding support agriculture for some 60 million people.

Sanakham's proposed site is located 155 kilometers north of the Laotian capital Vientiane and is expected to produce 684 megawatts of electricity when it starts operating in 2028.

The Sanakham Dam is the sixth project to have entered the prior consultation process with the MRC, an intergovernmental body that works with regional governments.

China has funded many hydroelectric projects inside Laos, and it has built 11 dams on the upper Mekong River inside Chinese territory that are monitored for allegedly altering the river's natural flow.

The Sanakham project will now have to go through a pre-MRC consultation process, which usually lasts for six months, where other MRC members including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam can review the project and assess any impacts. across borders.

While they can propose changes, the MRC consultation process cannot veto any project.


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