Thai delegation visits Xayaboury power project site

26 September 2014 | Vientiane Times


The second phase of the Xayaboury Hydroelectricity Power Project will begin construction in January, while the first phase is now about 80 percent complete.

The project is currently around 35 percent completed and a project official confirmed that construction will be finished according to plan in 2019.

Thai delegates from different sectors including the Thai National Mekong Committee Secretariat, the Department of Water Resources and the Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning and Department of Fishers visited the project site on Tuesday.

The visit also included representatives from the Lao National Mekong Committee Secretariat and the Department of Energy Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

This follow-up activity came about through the work of the Procedures for Notification, Prior, Consultation and Agreement.

The main issue that the Thai delegates focused on and asked a lot of questions about dealt with fish migration patterns and free passage both upriver and downriver.

They are concerned that the project's construction may have a negative impact on fish migration and the environment.

The plant's design, however, specifically caters for the movement of fish through it and is considered the best of its kind for this once it is fully operational.

The Xayaboury Hydroelectricity Power Plant will have a generating capacity of 1,285MW, only 60MW of which will go to the domestic grid with the rest being exported to Thailand.

The sale of the electricity will bring in significant revenue, which will help Laos to achieve Millennium Development Goals and graduate from least developed country status by 2020 as targeted.

To meet the needs of environmental protection, the project has budgeted to spend more on mana gement for minimal, sustainable impact.

The project's design is the fifth generation, incorporating modifications to address concerns and minimise any impact it may have, Deputy Managing Director of the Xayaboury Power Company Ltd, Mr Rewat Suwanakiti, said during the visit.

The plant is designed on sound engineering concepts and principles using engineering experts with broad international backgrounds and experience in hydropower in Switzerland, France and Thailand.

The construction phase covers eight years starting from 2012 and includes the building of all civil components as well as the installation and commissioning of all electromechanical equipment with completion in 2019.

The operation phase covers the 29 years of the concession agreement period from 2019 to 2048 after which ownership of the plant is transferred to the government of Laos.