Posts tagged ‘Xayaburi hydro dam’

September 26, 2014

Call on Laotian people to save our Land, Very Soon Mekong dam will destroying the region’s lifeblood

Help Us Save the Mekong River!

Our River feeds Millions

 

The Mekong River is under threat. The governments of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand are considering plans to build 11 big hydropower dams on the river's mainstream

Mekong Dams: Opposition Grows to Laos’ Mega Dams

Key Issues:
Xayaburi, Don Sahong, and Lower Mekong Mainstream Dams

A renewed push to build hydropower dams on the lower Mekong mainstream is threatening the river’s ecosystems, aquatic resources and the fishery-dependent livelihoods of millions of people.

แม่น้ำโขง

แม่น้ำโขง – สายน้ำที่ยาวที่สุดในอุษาคเนย์ และยาวเป็นอันดับสิบของโลก จากต้นกำเนิดบริเวณเทือกเขาหิมาลัย แม่น้ำโขงไหลผ่านถึง 6 ประเทศ จากที่ราบสูงทิเบต ผ่านภาคตะวันตกเฉียงใต้ทางมณฑลยูนนาน ประเทศจีน ไหลสู่ พม่า ลาว ไทย กัมพูชา ก่อนจะออกสู่ทะเลจีนใต้ที่ดินดอนสามเหลี่ยมปากแม่น้ำประเทศเวียดนาม รวมความยาวทั้งสิ้น 4,909 กิโลเมตร

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.terraper.org/mainpage/key_issues_detail_en.php?kid=8&langs=en

The international community should not let the Lao government get away with such a blatant violation of international law. We are calling on donor governments and the governments of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to take a firm stand against Laos. 

More information from http://www.internationalrivers.org/
“The international community should not let the Lao government get away with such a blatant violation of international law,” said Ms. Ame Trandem, Southeast Asia Program Director for International Rivers. “We are calling on donor governments and the governments of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to take a firm stand against Laos. The Xayaburi Dam is the first of a cascade of devastating mainstream dams that will severely undermine the region’s development efforts. The food security and jobs of millions of people in the region are now on the line.”
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Xayaburi Construction’s Photo

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/multimedia/photo/257475/laos-river-life/embed

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/236558/activists-call-to-scrap-lao-dam-project

Activists are unhappy with Laos’ pledge to study the environmental effects of the controversial Xayaburi hydro dam.  Click for more

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/laos-evades-responsibility-with-dam-construction-30193861.html

Ame Trandem, Pianporn Deetes
November 8, 2012 1:00 am

In clear defiance of its neighbours and a regional agreement, the Lao government announced that it would hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the Xayaburi Dam site on the Mekong River on Wednesday, November 7. Viraphonh Viravong, Laos’ deputy minister of energy and mining, said “It has been assessed, it has been discussed the last two years. We have addressed most of the concerns.
After the ceremony, the project developers are expected to begin construction on the cofferdam, which diverts the river while the permanent dam wall is built. The cofferdam is expected to be completed by May 2013.

The international community should not let the Lao government get away with such a blatant violation of international law. We are calling on donor governments and the governments of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia to take a firm stand against Laos.

The Xayaburi Dam is the first of a cascade of devastating mainstream dams that will severely undermine the region’s development efforts. The food security and jobs of millions of people in the region are now on the line.

Construction activities at the dam site began in late 2010. In April 2011 the Cambodian and Vietnamese governments asked the Lao government for further studies on the project’s trans-boundary effects. In December 2011 the four governments of the Mekong River Commission met and agreed to conduct further studies on the effects of the Xayaburi Dam and 10 other proposed mainstream dams. To date, no regional agreement has been made to build the Xayaburi Dam despite the 1995 Mekong Agreement’s requirement that the governments of Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos cooperate and seek joint agreement on mainstream projects.

Laos said it would cooperate with neighbouring countries, but this was never genuine. Instead, the project always continued on schedule and was never actually delayed. None of Vietnam and Cambodia’s environmental and social concerns have been taken seriously. Laos has never even collected basic information about the ways that people depend on the river, so how can it say that there will be no impacts?

On October 22, Vietnam’s minister of natural resources and environment met the Lao prime minister and requested that all construction on the Xayaburi Dam be stopped until necessary studies to assess the effects of Mekong mainstream dams were first carried out.

Laos continues to deny that the dam will have trans boundary impacts and is applying the recommended mitigation measures made by Finnish consulting company Poyry and French company Compagnie Nationale du Rhone, despite the fact that the project has never carried out a trans-boundary impact assessment. The Cambodian government, Vietnamese government, and scientists throughout the Mekong region have disagreed with the work of these companies.

Laos is playing roulette with the Mekong River, offering unproven solutions and opening up the Mekong as a testing ground for new technologies. When the Mekong River Commission stays quiet and tolerates one country risking the sustainability of the Mekong River and all future trans-boundary cooperation, something is seriously wrong.

As Thai companies serve as the project’s developers and financers, and the Thai government will purchase the bulk of the Xayaburi Dam’s electricity, Thailand has the responsibility to call for a stop to construction immediately and cancel its power purchase agreement until there is regional agreement to build the dam. This move by Laos sets a dangerous precedent for the future of the Mekong region. If Laos is allowed to proceed unhindered, then in the future all member governments will proceed unilaterally on projects on the Mekong River. The Mekong Agreement will become yet another useless piece of paper.

Unless the Mekong dam crisis is tackled immediately, the future of the region is in great danger. With the Asian and European heads of states gathered in Vientiane, Laos for the Asem Summit, it’s time that the international community takes a strong stand and makes it clear that such actions by Laos will not be tolerated.

Ame Trandem is Southeast Asia programme director, International Rivers. Pianporn Deetes is Thailand campaign coordinator, International Rivers.

http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/laos-evades-responsibility-and-plows-ahead-with-xayaburi-dam-7714

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Credits: International Rivers

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April 24, 2012

Xayaburi study locks in funding

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012042355715/National-news/xayaburi-study-locks-in-funding.html

Shane Worrell

Monday, 23 April 2012

Local villagers stand on the banks of the Mekong River in Xayaburi province, Laos, near the area where a controversial dam is slated for construction. Photo by International Rivers

Japan has agreed to fund a study into what negative effects the controversial Xayaburi hydro dam project in Laos could have on Mekong River communities, a Cambodia National Mekong Committee official said yesterday.

Te Navuth, the committee’s secretary-general, said Mekong River Commission (MRC) member states, including Cambodia, had agreed in December that another study was needed before the 1,260-megawatt dam project could begin.

“Mekong countries and Japan have agreed to carry out this study,” he said, referring to discussions at the Japan-Mekong Summit in Tokyo over the weekend. “Before, we didn’t have this statement clearly.”

Thai development firm Ch.Karnchang announced it had begun construction work on the dam on March 15 after signing a US$2.4 billion contract with the Xayaburi Power Company, the Post reported last week.

Sin Niny, permanent vice-chairman of CNMC, was reported elsewhere saying Cambodia had the right to file a legal complaint if Laos began the project on its own.

Under a 1995 agreement, a host country must consult MRC members of such projects before proceeding.

Te Navuth said legal action against Laos might be hasty.

“I don’t think [Cambodia] would do this. [The agreement with Japan] is a new positive development . . . that will promote cooperation of the member states.”

But concern remained over whether the dam project, the first of its kind on the Lower Mekong, had begun, he said.

“We have reports of some preliminary constructions,” Te Navuth said. “Cambodia will send an official to Laos. We have sent several letters . . . [asking them] not to proceed with any work. I think they will consider this [new study],” he said, adding they had been unresponsive in the past.

Save the Mekong spokesperson Meach Mean said he was concerned about the project.

“Without a study, we do not know what … the damage will be,” he said. “We ask the Lao government to postpone [the dam project]. Please, Laos, respect the 1995 agreement.”

Sin Niny and the Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached.


To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at shane.worrell@phnompenhpost.com

 

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May 12, 2011

Call on Laotians people to save our land: Help Us Save the Mekong! – Our River feeds Millions

 

View Original Source:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/236558/activists-call-to-scrap-lao-dam-project

Activists are unhappy with Laos’ pledge to study the environmental effects of the controversial Xayaburi hydro dam.

They say Laos’ commitment to study further the environmental impact assessment report on the dam, in the face of stiff regional opposition to the project, is no guarantee that environmental impacts on the trans-boundary Mekong River can be minimized.

Laos should scrap the project instead, they said.

Laos has offered to further study the EIA after the three Mekong countries which stand to be affected by the Xayaburi dam’s construction – Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – raised objections to the conclusions.

Laos has also decided to postpone work on the dam, pending the outcome of the study.

Hanarong Yaowaloes, chairman of Thai-Water Partnerships, an environmental group, said the EIA study done by Ch Karnchang Public Company Limited, a construction giant which is undertaking the joint venture project, was unable to answer environmentalists’ concerns.

The study failed to say how the dam would affect the livelihoods of millions of people living along the river, Mr Hanarong said.

“The project should be scrapped. Laos wants to study the EIA further just to draw out the process,” he said.

Meanwhile, Birgit Vogel, chief technical adviser of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), said many concerns have been raised about the EIA report on the Xayaburi dam, especially the impact on fish migration and sediment transport.

The MRC suggested more work was needed to mitigate the environmental impacts on fish, and management of sediment flow, Ms Vogel said.

Ms Vogel was speaking at a public lecture yesterday on Mekong River dams at Chulalongkorn University.

She said the MRC’s fisheries experts found that the dam could affect 23 to 100 threatened fish species, as some 39% of migrant fish would be blocked by the dam.

That could lead to a 6% drop in the 2.5 tonnes of fish caught from the river each year.

The MRC’s sediment expert group expected the reservoir would lose about 60% of its capacity due to poor sediment management within 30 years.

She believed the issue will be raised again at the Mekong region’s ministerial meeting in October or November this year.

Richard Cronin, senior associate of the Henry L Stimson Center in Washington DC, closely monitors the Mekong region.

He said Laos has the right to build the Xayaburi dam but it should not disregard the concerns of neighbouring countries.

Mr Cronin said the project’s suspension would give Laos the chance to carefully scrutinise the impact on the environment and livelihood of people along the river.

“Laos has nothing to export except natural resources,” Mr Cronin said.

“It can earn big money from the sale of electricity from the hydro dam to Thailand, Vietnam and China.”

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Writer: Apinya Wipatayotin
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Help Us Save The Mekong

Lao minister says “trust us” on Mekong dam

View Original Source:  http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3E7G53BM20110505?sp=true

Thu May 5, 2011 2:28pm GMT

HANOI May 5 (Reuters) – Communist Laos called on Thursday for trust on a controversial dam across the lower Mekong river that has sparked strong opposition from its neighbours and environmental groups.

In a rare direct comment from the secretive country, Khempheng Pholsena, chairwoman of the Laos National Mekong Committee and a government minister, said the Xayaburi Dam would be “socially and environmentally sustainable”.

“Trust Laos,” she told reporters in Hanoi on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank.

“We take the concern seriously. Please give us time,” she added.   Plans for the dam have put Laos on a collision course with its neighbours and environmentalists who fear livelihoods, fish species and farmland could be destroyed, potentially sparking a food crisis.

Last month the four countries that share the lower stretches of the 4,900 km (3,044 mile) Mekong — Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam — failed at a meeting to reach agreement on construction of the 1.285-megawatt (MW) dam, the first of 11 planned in the lower Mekong that are expected to generate 8 percent of Southeast Asia’s power by 2025.

Vietnam, which has long been the closest ally Laos has, last month asked it to delay the $3.5 million project by 10 years.

The Lao government has hailed Xayaburi as a model for clean, green energy that will stimulate its tiny $6 billion economy and improve the lives of its 5.9 million people, over a quarter of whom live below the poverty line, many without electricity.

Its energy-hungry neighbour, Thailand, will buy about 95 percent of the power generated by the dam and three Thai firms have a stake in the project, according to an announcement on Thailand’s stock exchange last month.

Pholsena said Laos had faced opposition to another dam project, the Nam Theun hydropower plant, but had laid concerns to rest, and would do the same again.

Laos needed to be “strong and stand on its own feet”, she said.

(Reporting by Tran Le Thuy; Editing by John Ruwitch and Robert Birsel)

© Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved

Help Us Save The Mekong

Related:

WE MEAN BUSINESS: A fleet of more than 20 Ch Karnchang trucks, along with 10 backhoes. The trucks carry the company’s logo.

Thailand could destroy the Mekong River as we know it

Ame Trandem, the Bangkok-based representative for International Rivers, described the dam’s EIA report – released just three weeks ago – as “abysmal” and “totally inadequate”.

“It lacks basic yet critical technical information, is riddled with analytical flaws and fails to consider transboundary impacts, despite other MRC-commissioned reports demonstrating that the dam’s high environmental and social impacts will be irreversible and will be felt basin-wide. Given the quality of the EIA and the anticipated impacts, if this project were to go ahead it would be unimaginably irresponsible.”  More

Xayaburi dam work begins on sly – THAI CONSTRUCTION GIANT, LAOS IGNORE MEKONG CONCERNS

An investigation by the Bangkok Post Sunday which visited the area surrounding the Xayaburi dam on the Lower Mekong River last week found major road works under construction and villagers preparing to be relocated.  Several of the villagers said they were to receive as little as US$15 (450 baht) in compensation for moving from the area.  Trucks and backhoes bearing the name of Ch Karnchang, the Thai company jointly involved in the $3.5 billion project with the Lao government, were seen clearing and grading roads.  More

CK: Xayaburi still on course – Firm confident in soundness of EIA

Ch Karnchang Plc (CK), Thailand’s second-largest contractor, insists that banks and the government of Laos remain committed to the Xayaburi dam the company plans to build on the Mekong River.  More

Ch Karnchang sees way clear for Xayaburi dam

“We expect to receive an official notification from the Lao government within one to two weeks to carry on with the project,” he said at CK’s annual shareholders meeting yesterday.  More

Hydropower on the Mekong: Might not give a dam

but warned that further environmental studies would take longer than Laos was willing to wait. Indeed the patience of the Lao authorities may already have run out. A report in the Bangkok Post includes photos that appear to show that construction at the site is already under wayMore

HOME, SWEET HOME: One family which has been asked to move to make way for the dam.
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