The Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) says the Nam Theun 2 dam project is 80 percent complete with the reservoir impoundment to be started on the 10th of April and continued until June and resettlement program has to be finished by the end of May.
The relocation of more than 1300 families from the reservoir area has been 70 percent completed. That is 9 out of the total 15 villages, and the evacuation of people from the remaining six villages is expected to finish soon.
NTPC also says tree clearance from the 1,500-hectare reservoir has been at least 60 percent completed, generating more that 20 million dollars of income from logging for the Lao government.
The U.S.-based environmental group International Rivers, however, says that while the construction is moving forward, the company has not yet fully prepared the villagers, especially those 120,000 people who live downstream of the Xe Bangfai, to face the Nam Theun 2’s impacts and time is running short. NTPC says everything is running smoothly according to the schedule, including relocation, environment and compensation programs.
The Nam Theun 2 hydropower project, due to finish in late 2009, will export more than 90% of its 1,070 MW of electricity to Thailand. Lao officials have said that income from the sale of electricity will be used toward poverty reduction efforts. Listen to our report for more details in Lao.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.