Vientiane Times, February 19, 2013
DM Construction-Trading Co., Ltd will undertake a study on the Nam Pouy-Nam Tan Irrigation Project in Phiang district, with a view to investing in the project up front, the money to be repaid by the government at a later date.
The company will work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to speed up agricultural development in Laos, undertaking a feasibility study for the proposed irrigation project in Xayaboury province.
A memorandum of understanding to this end was signed in Vientiane on Friday between the Irrigation Department Director General, Mr Maykong Phonephommavong, and the President of DM Construction-Trading Co., Ltd,, Ms Douangta Matmanisone.
The ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Assoc. Prof. Dr Khamphad Sourinphoummy along with provincial authorities and government officials and representatives of the company.
The project was first proposed and studied as far back as 1996 but no government funding was available at the time, Mr Maykong explained, and it has been delayed for a long time since, slowing agricultural expansion in the area.
However, because of the importance of the project, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry proposed that it must be included in the five year socio-economic development plan from 2011-2015.
The ministry has been seeking investment partners for various projects and thanks to the upfront investment from DM Construction-Trading Co., Ltd., the Nam Pouy-Nam Tan project is set to finally get underway.
Once complete, it is expected the project will supply water to about 4,350 hectares of farmland in the rainy season and 3,000 hectares of dry season crops, to the benefit of about 6,500 farming families in 29 villages in Phiang district.
The project aims to irrigate rice and other cash crops in the area, helping to ensure food security and allowing more cultivation on a commercial basis. In addition, it will save on power because this system requires no electricity for pumping,” Mr Maykong said.
It will involve the construction of new irrigation infrastructure and the rehabilitation of some existing old infrastructure, including the Nam Pouy reservoir and channel system, a channel running from the Nam Youn, and also the Nam Phiang reservoir.
Mr Maykong said this is a major irrigation project and the government will be spending many billions of kip to repay the cost of investment. He was confident the company will act responsibly to study the project in close cooperation with the irrigation sector at both the central and local levels to implement the project successfully and on target.
Whilst it was already studied when previously proposed, DM Construction-Trading Co., Ltd. must carry out a new study because various aspects need to be reassessed following the long delay before the project can get underway.
Ms Douangta said DM Construction-Trading Co., Ltd. could bring their many years of experience to the project and would use their skills and expertise to successfully implement the project for the benefit of local people.
The company has considerable experience in project management and infrastructure development, she added, such as constructing roads, bridge, irrigation dams, reservoirs, buildings and factories, and has a sufficient workforce headed by skilled and competent engineers.