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  • Dam the Mekong, Thailand Buys More Hydroelectricity from Laos


    A power purchasing agreement was signed on Tuesday, during Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth chan-Ocha’s visit to the Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, while attending the 28th and 29th Asean Summits and related meetings from September 6-8 in Vientiane.

    Thailand has increased its purchase of electricity from 7,000 to 9,000 megawatts from Laos this year to ensure sufficient supply and meet rising demand.

  • Mon group opposes dam planned for Salween River


    Mon activists yesterday attacked dam projects slated for the Salween River, releasing a report about the potential negative impacts.

    “Given the recently renewed plans by the Myanmar government and Thai investors to build the controversial Hatgyi dam, our downstream communities share extreme concerns with all the other communities along the Salween about the impact of the dam on our livelihood and the environment,” said Mi Ah Chai, one of the lead researchers on the report by the Mon Youth Progressive Organisation.

    The announcement that 1360-megawatt Hatgyi project would be resumed was made on August 12 by Ministry of Electric Power permanent secretary U Htein Lwin.

  • The Thanlwin River – a victim of misdirected electric power


    The Myanmar government is trying to focus on generating electricity from cost-effective water resources to meet local demand for electricity.

    The public does not accept the Myitsone dam project as a way to generate hydroelectric power from the Ayeyawady River, nor does it accept coal-fired power projects. When it comes to gas-fired power projects, gas from the existing projects is not enough for domestic consumption as it is being excessively produced for export purposes. Besides, natural gas has a high production cost.

    The Thanlwin River, also called the Salween River, is set to become the next victim. But the public does not accept this either.

  • Gigawatts for Mega-spenders: Infographic shows Bangkok’s luxury malls use more energy than some provinces


    Thailand may be a middle income country, but enter one of the capital’s many new, opulent shopping complexes and you’ll think you’ve been transported to New York or Singapore. EmQuartier, Bangkok’s latest retail destination for the well-healed houses such brands as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Dior, Tiffany and Cartier as do half a dozen of its predecessors along a six kilometers retail corridor in the city’s downtown.

  • River Network Objects To Hydropower Group


    Concerned about a series of dams planned along the Salween River, the Save the Salween Network has raised objections to the formation of the Hydropower Developer’s Working Group (HDWG) in Burma by the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), claiming it will assist investors while sidestepping potential negative outcomes of the dams for thousands of ethnic minority groups.

    The Salween River is one of the largest free flowing rivers in the world with many largely isolated groups living alongside it.

  • IFC and Private Sector Launch Working Group to Drive Change in Myanmar Hydropower Sector


    IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the private sector launched the first working group for Myanmar’s hydropower sector. The Hydropower Developers’ Working Group (HDWG), first established in Lao PDR in late-2013, is the only platform exclusively for hydropower companies and industry-related professionals to influence policy and identify solutions to improve upon sustainability and business operations in Myanmar.

    Over 100 stakeholders from Myanmar’s hydropower sector including companies, civil society organizations, financial institutions and government officials attended the working group’s first General Forum today in Yangon. The interim executive committee presented the working group’s agenda focusing on strengthening private sector relations with the government and highlighting the best practices and policies needed to develop projects sustainably. The committee comprises local and international hydropower companies and consultants operating in Myanmar.

  • Research: Impacts of Dams and Global Warming on Fish Biodiversity in the Indo-Burma Hotspot


    Both hydropower dams and global warming pose threats to freshwater fish diversity. While the extent of global warming may be reduced by a shift towards energy generation by large dams in order to reduce fossil-fuel use, such dams profoundly modify riverine habitats. Furthermore, the threats posed by dams and global warming will interact: for example, dams constrain range adjustments by fishes that might compensate for warming temperatures. Evaluation of their combined or synergistic effects is thus essential for adequate assessment of the consequences of planned water-resource developments.

  • Flood crisis threatens to kill Vietnam’s rice bowl


    The Mekong Delta makes up 55.5 percent of the country’s annual rice output. Shortage of floods has resulted in a hefty 50 percent decrease in sediment deposited in the Mekong Delta each year, causing Vietnam’s largest delta to face serious subsidence and likely disappearance in the future.

  • Myanmar’s Suu Kyi assures China of solution to stalled dam


    Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi told China’s premier on Thursday that her new government is willing to look for a resolution that suits both countries to a suspended Chinese-funded hydropower project in northern Myanmar, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

    Finding a solution to the US$3.6 billion Myitsone dam project is important for Suu Kyi who needs China’s cooperation in talks with Myanmar’s ethnic minority armed groups operating along northern borders with China.

  • New Commission to Decide Fate of Myitsone Dam in Kachin State


    President Htin Kyaw on Friday formed a new commission to evaluate all proposed hydropower projects on the Irrawaddy River prior to their going ahead.

    The committee formation comes a week before State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s trip to China as Burma’s foreign minister.

    Since the installation of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government in April, China has been lobbying for the resumption of the multi-billion dollar Myitsone Dam, which was being constructed with Chinese backing just downriver of the confluence that forms the Irrawaddy, in Kachin State, prior to a government suspension order in 2011.

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