Laos Shelves New Hydropower Projects Pending Policy, Safety Reviews

Published onAugust 16, 2018

Laos has suspended consideration of new hydropower projects in the country pending reviews of development policy after the breach of a dam last month left at least 34 dead with 100 still missing, Lao sources say. The announcement followed an August 6-7 meeting of the country’s cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at which plans were also made to carry out safety inspections of all hydropower projects already built or under construction in the Southeast Asian country. Inspections will be conducted by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Science and Technology with the help of international experts, the Vientiane Times said in an August 8 report. “Any irregularities found in the design or construction standard of a dam must be reported to the government on a case by case basis, so that improvements can be made,” the Times said.