By The Mekong Eye
Nam Ngiep, Pakxan, Bolikhamsai, Laos, September 8, 2015
Baht Beyond Borders #7 – Thai investment booming next door
Nam Ngiep 1 Dam, Laos
Nam Ngiep 1 dam is the second major Lao hydropower project conceived for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). EGAT’s first, Nam Thuen 2 has been riddled with social and environmental problems, and Nam Ngiep 1 is shaping up no differently. Numerous concerns have been raised regarding Nam Ngiep 1’s inadequate EIA process and now inadequate project implementation.
At 148 meters tall, this 290 MW hydropower generation facility on the Nam Ngiep River, 145 km northeast of Vientiane will be the highest dam in Laos. It’s estimated to cost US $900 million. Its 67km2 reservoir will displace at least 3,000 people, the majority of whom are Hmong and Khamu. Construction began in 2014 with completion in 2019.
Ninety five per cent of the dam’s electricity will be exported to Thailand under a 27-year power purchase agreement between EGAT and the Lao government. The remaining five per cent will be used domestically. EGAT International holds a 30 per cent stake in the project, while the rest is owned by KPIC Netherlands (45 per cent), a subsidiary of Japan’s Kansai Electric Power; and the Lao Holding State Enterprise (25 per cent). Four Thai banks along with the Asian Development Bank and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation are providing financing for this BOT (build, operate, transfer) project.