Vientiane Times, 7 June 2013
The Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) has allocated around US$5 million in budget funding for its social and environmental programmes.
The programmes include resettlements, livelihood improvement programmes, community development, construction of educational and healthcare facilities, environmental management, according to THPC’s Social and Environmental Division Deputy Manager, Ms Surapha Viravong.
Each year, the company spends millions of dollars on livelihood improvement and community development programmes, she said, reflecting its commitment to the people of the local area as well as the natural environment.
Recently, it sponsored tree planting activities in Phousa-at village, Khounkham district, Khammuan province on June 1 to mark Abour Day, as part of its social and environmental programme, aiming to help villagers feel more at home .
Through the activity, the company donated 2,000 saplings of fruit and decorative trees that will help green the village and also provided jackfruit, mango and santol ensuring a healthy diet for villagers and maybe market revenue as well.
The activity will beautify the village, produce fruit for local people and help raise awareness of the importance of trees to the surrounding environment.
Phousa-at is a new village established in 2011 as part of THPC’s social and environmental programme. The tree planting ceremony was attended by district officials, local villagers and company staff.
Five villages have been moved to the new site provided by the Theun-Hinboun expansion project, which offers better housing, roads, electricity and water supplies, plus community facilities such as a clinic, school and temple.
Overall, 23 villages downstream of the Theun-Hinboun project are moving to relocation sites in flood-safe areas. As with all newly constructed sites, it takes time for the areas to regain a natural look.
In January this year, the company inaugurated an extension to its power plant, bringing generating capacity to 500MW and making the company the third largest power producer in the country.
The company’s Deputy General Manager, Mr Soulideth Baomanikhoth said that this expansion increased not only THPC’s contribution to the Lao economy but also its responsibility to both local people and to protecting the environment.