Vientiane Times, September 11, 2013
A local business will start to survey potential sites for two small hydropower dams in Borikhamxay province this month.
Keodavone Electricity Company Limited will study the feasibility of building two small dams, the Namjard 1 and Namjard 2, in Xaychamphone district.
An official from the provincial Planning and Investment Department, Mr Sonthong Vibounkuang, told Vientiane Times on Monday the company was waiting for one more approval document from the Borikhamxay administration office before starting their survey.
“Although a memorandum of understanding was signed between the company and the provincial department on September 5, they still have to wait for another document before beginning work,” he said.
They will get started as soon as they get the approval because the survey must take into account the water available to drive the turbines so they need to be able to evaluate the water flow in the rainy season.
Construction of the dams is aimed at encouraging investment from Lao sources as well as providing power for the local community.
Mr Sonthong said the dams would not have much impact on the environment because they would be far from any residential areas, and construction would not affect the environment or the lives of local residents.
“Local people will get considerable benefit from the dams once they have been built. We are confident the building work will start soon and be completed as soon as possible after the survey,” he said.
Last week, the Borikhamxay provincial Planning and Investment Department and Keodavone signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the company to survey the proposed sites of the two dams.
“The survey will take 18 months. We will gather all the necessary information on the socio-economic situation in the area as well as the local environment,” Mr Sonthong said.