VIENTIANE, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — The Mekong River Commission (MRC) held a forum last week in Laos to discuss with other Mekong nations before going ahead with construction of a Luang Prabang hydropower project on Mekong River.
The Lao government presented detail of the Luang Prabang hydropower project in the ninth Mekong River Regional Stakeholder Forum, which was held from Wednesday to Thursday in Luang Prabang province, some 220 km north of Lao capital Vientiane, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.
Laos briefed representatives of Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, civil society, academics, the private sector and development partners of details of the hydropower plant for comment.
In response to Lao government’s engagement in the forum, representatives of the Mekong countries said they appreciated Lao’s presentation of the facts for them to review. They also wanted the Lao government to address the potential impact of the Luang Prabang dam on downstream Mekong countries.
“We’re working closely with the developer and its international engineering teams to further improve the design and mitigation measures following the feasibility stage,” Lao Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Saynakhone Inthavong said.
“The Lao government highly appreciates the comments from all stakeholders during this prior consultation process and is continually committed to addressing legitimate concerns,” he added.
Proposed on the Mekong mainstream in Houygno village, 25 km from the town of Luang Prabang and 2,036 km from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, the power plant will generate electricity mainly for sale to Thailand and Vietnam when commercial operation begins in 2027, according to the report.
In addition to discussing the possible impacts of the dam, the forum considered the draft Basin Development Strategy for 2021-2030, a 10-year strategic direction for development planning within the region.