Three Xekong River Dams Move Closer to Reality

December 12, 2011

Vientiane Times

Region Oil Company of Russia is working on the formation of a project company in Laos to build three dams in Xekong and Attapeu provinces.

The planned hydropower projects are named the Xekong 4, Xekong 5 and Nam Kong 1, all on the Xekong River.

“Region Oil intends to form a project company next year,” the company’s Deputy General Director Mr Vasily M. Morgun said recently.

The project company would sign a tariff memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

“The most important part of the process is to sign a concession agreement with the Lao government, which will pave the way for the start of construction,” he said.

Mr Morgun said a draft concession agreement has been submitted to the Ministry of Energy and Mines for consideration.

Region Oil signed an MOU on the three hydropower plants in 2007 and set up representative offices in Xekong and Attapeu provinces.

The company says it works within the laws of Laos and in line with the Project Development Agreements signed with the Lao government.

The dams will cost about 16 trillion kip (US$2 billion) to build and will have an installed capacity of about 1,200 megawatts.

Last year the Lao government approved the Lao Holding State Enterprise to represent the interests of the government and own shares in the project company, according to a company report.

Korea Western Power Co., Ltd. (KOWEPO) of the Republic of Korea also expressed interest in taking part in the development of the three dams. KOWEPO has been studying the project documents and its staff have visited the project sites.

Region Oil and Electricite du Laos (EDL) signed an MOU on tariffs last year, under which 10 percent of electricity generated by the dams will be supplied to EDL for domestic supply.

The schedules relating to social and environmental obligations have been completed for the Xekong 4 and Nam Kong 1 dams and submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for consideration.

Unexploded ordnance has been cleared around the Xekong 4 dam site on an area of 777.2 hectares, as well as on an area of 42 hectares where an access road is planned.

Unexploded ordnance has also been cleared around the Nam Kong 1 dam site on 91.2 hectares and on 55.3 hectares where an access road will be built.

Comprehensive research on the geography, geology, hydrology and meteorology of the area has been completed for the purposes of project design. An environmental management plan, resettlement action plan, and social action plan for the three proposed dams have already been drawn up and approved by the Lao government.



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