Foreign Affairs Senior officials praise the concept of Xayaboury dam

Published on July 30, 2013

Lao Foreign Affairs senior officials praise the concept of Xayaboury dam, which is being developed in a sustainable manner

Foreign Affairs Senior officials have praised the concept of Xayaboury dam, which is being developed in a sustainable manner and pledged to explain the environmentally friendly technique concept to interested outsiders. According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, it needs to be recognised that hydroelectricity- one of the greenest and cleanest sources of energy generation, will never be exhausted.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, led the officials who were participating in a meeting on Asean community building held in Xayaboury province, recently, on a visit to the dam site where officials from ministries and provinces across the country learned about the techniques being used to develop the run-off-river dam.

They viewed some related video footage, which showed how facilities that will work to enable fish and sentiment flow through the dam downstream. It also demonstrates how local people’s fishing boats and cargo ships with a maximum weight of up to 500 tonnes can pass up and down through the dam.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alounkeo Kittikhoun said, the Lao government has been doing its best to address concerns raised by any parties, particularly those of its downstream neighbours. Impressed with what he saw, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs described it as a ‘nature-based technique.

Unlike natural resources or mines, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said, it needs to be recognised that hydroelectricity- one of the greenest and cleanest sources of energy generation, will never be exhausted.

Chief of Division of Project Development at the Department of Energy Business, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Somphith Keovichith said, the dam developers have hired internationally-recognised companies as the project consultants in an effort to ensure the dam is developed is a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. He said, the consultant companies hired to oversee dam design and construction are Finnish consulting firm Poyry Group and also Compagnie Nationale du Rhone of France. Hiring the two consultants has affirmed and demonstrated the Lao government’s stance it has announced to develop environmentally and socially sustainable and responsible dams.

From the social perspective, the project has committed to sustainable-based resettlement for affected people by providing residential and agricultural plots with training on planting and animal husbandry techniques as well as building houses for them.

According to officials, the US$3.5 billion hydropower plant is currently about 13 percent complete and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2019. During its 29 year concession period, the 1,285MW hydropower plant will generate revenue for Laos in the vicinity of US$ 4 billion. Officials said not only Laos will benefit from the dam, but also the purchasing country as it will enable the importer to lessen its dependence on energy produced from dirtier sources.

The visit by the officials to the dam site is the latest one the government has organised, after prior tours by delegations from foreign countries and non-government organisations, showing the government’s commitment to develop what it describes as a ‘transparent dam’. It is disclosed that, hydroelectricity and tourism are the two sectors that Laos boasts potential to pursue its sustainable development.

Source: LNTV Lao News in English