Friday, April 11, 2008

Reservoir flooding behind dam starts in Laos

Terra Daily: Dam builders in Laos on Thursday started flooding the 450-square kilometre (175 square mile) reservoir for what will be the country's largest infrastructure project, Lao officials said. The World Bank-backed Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project, which displaces 6,200 villagers, is set to start operation in December 2009 with a generating capacity of 1,070 megawatts, 95 percent of it for export to Thailand.

Workers on Thursday blocked a tunnel that had diverted the Nam Theun river during construction, and the dam gates will be closed in June, allowing the reservoir's full inundation in this year's rainy season, officials said.

"The project is well on track and impoundment can begin this wet season," said Lao energy department deputy head Sychath Boutsakitirath. "We are delighted with the progress of the project as it represents a vital contribution to the Lao economy and the Lao people and will play a substantial role in helping the government meet its poverty alleviation goals."...

Map of Laos from CIA World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons

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