Deputy Prime Minister visits northern provinces
Deputy Prime Minister, DrBounthongChitmany has visited the northern provinces to inspect various hydropower construction projects as well as advise local authorities on socio-economic development issues.
DrBounthong and his entourage recently visited the Pakbeng Hydropower Project located on the upper reaches of the Mekong River near Pakbaeng district, Oudomxay province, where project officials reported that construction of the dam is expected to begin at the end of this year.
He also visited the Hard Muak resettlement village in Pha-oudom district, Bokeo province, which is the largest resettlement site of the “Nam Tha Hydropower Project 1.”
It was relocated in 2016, with a total of 566 households being moved, and is currently undergoing livelihood restoration works.
He expressed his greetings to the villagers and donated clothes, medicines for the local health office and school and sports equipment. DrBounthong and his entourage visited the construction site of the “Nam Tha Hydropower Project 1,” and inspected the main powerhouse and dam area.
Construction of the dam is now 67 percent progressed and is expected to reach completion by the end of this year.
General Manager of the Nam Tha 1 Lao Power Company, Mr Sun Peng gave a brief introduction on the powerhouse and dam buildings, and answered questions about environmental flows during water impoundment, which DrBounthong asked about.
According to Mr Sun Peng, the reservoir shall begin to store water during the rainy season, and downstream will have enough water for ecological supply.
Currently, the project company mainly relies on the staff and technical support from the China Southern Power Grid Company for power generation preparation works.
However, when the project enters into mature operation, the project company will hire Lao staff and train them to participate in the operation and maintenance process; by then they will become the main force for project operation.
The project is not only one of the largest hydropower projects in Bokeo province, but also a key project that embodies the friendship between Laos and China, which promotes local economic development.
DrBounthong was satisfied with the current progress of the project, and expressed his wish for the project company to continue the construction works to ensure the realisation of the goal of power generation at the end of 2017.
He also urged them to continue their focus on resettlement works as well as the livelihood restoration works in Bokeo and LuangNamtha provinces.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines and Bokeo authorities at all levels need to continue providing cooperation and support for the project, the Deputy PM said.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 10, 2017)