Officials discuss Pak Beng hydropower project design
High level officials from the relevant sectors met in Vientiane to discuss the design of the Pak Beng Hydropower Project, seeking to ensure it is sustainable as well as mitigate trans-boundary impacts to Mekong member countries.
The meeting took place yesterday co-chaired by Minister of Energy and Mines Mr Khammany Inthirath and Chinese Ambassador to Laos Mr Guam Huabing.
Mr Khammany said the Pak Beng hydropower project is a critical project in the government's power policy and development programme.
It is the first cascade of the hydropower development scheme for the Mekong River, which is located in the upper reaches of the Mekong River near Pakbaeng district in Oudomxay province of northern Laos.
The project type is a run-of-river project and the dam site is approximately 14km upstream from the district centre. The total capacity will be 912 MW with average annual generation of 4.775 GWh.
The purpose of this project is to uti lise the great hydropower resources that Laos has been blessed with, in order to produce power for domestic supply and export.
Revenues generated by this projec t wi ll add to the national budget and contribute to national development, aimed at graduating from the Least Developed Country status.
Moreover, it will provide a strong impetus for immediate and long-term industrialis ation and modernisation, he said.
Mr Khammany said based on the lessons and experience of hydrop ower development projects in Laos, especially the Xayaboury and Don Sahong.
The ministry has actively cooperated with relevant partners both domestically and overseas to disseminate project information openly and transparently in accordance with the 1995 Mekong Agreement and the government's energy development policy.
It means Laos has developed hydropower projects on the Mekong by adhering to the principle of ensuring safety according to international standards and having negligible impacts on the environment as well as diverse sectors on the lower Mekong, he added.
Pak Beng hydropower project is located on the Mekong, so it will adhere to the principle of the 1995 Mekong Agreement, especially the process on prior consultation, w hich will require at least six months before making decisions on development.
Datang International Power Generation Co., Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lao government in August 2007 to conduct an economic feasibility study and the government assigned CNR to help check the documents of the economic feasibility study.
At the meeting, high-level officials heard about the project brief, hydrology, sedimentation, geology and exploration, design layout, dam safety, the fish pass facility, water quality, navigation, trans-boundary impacts and miti gation, and sustainable operation and management.