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Over 200 families to relocate for Pakbaeng dam

Over 200 families in seven villages of Pakbaeng district in Oudomxay province are set to move to higher ground and new sites to make way for construction of the Pakbaeng hydropower project.

The dam will be the third to be built on the Mekong River. It is designed as a run-of-river dam and will have a total capacity of 912MW with an average annual power generation of 4.775 GWh.

The purpose of the project is to utilise Laos' abundant hydropower resources and produce power for domestic supply and export.

“Construction of the Pakbaeng dam is expected to begin at the end of 2018. Prior to that there will be agreement negotiations on the concession details, electricity purchase and socio-economic impact assessment,” Head of Office of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Dr Daovong Phonekeo, told Vientiane Times last week during a field visit to the project site.

More than 200 families or 1,100 people in seven villages will be affected, according to a recent survey.

“About 73 families in Luangtong village will move to a new site near the main road, while the remaining families in six other villages are set to move to higher ground,” Dr Daovong said.

The project developer will compensate the families depending on their circumstances.

“According to the project's initial compensation proposal, new houses, a school, temple and a dispensary will be built and electricity and water supplies installed. In addition, the developer will consider giving them jobs so that these families benefit from the project,” Dr Daovong said.

The scheme has been designed by the Chinese developer Datang Overseas Investment Co., Ltd. under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Lao and Chinese governments signed in August 2007.

The proposed dam site is 140km from Oudomxay provincial capital and has a straight-line distance of 270km from Vientiane and 190km and 20km from the borders of China and Thailand, respectively. Once the project is complete it will generate revenue for neighbouring provinces like Xayaboury and Bokeo.

“Because it is a mega project worth more than US$2 billion it will contribute to economic growth in Laos as well,” Dr Daovong said.



By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 10, 2017)

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