October 10, 2019
The Vietnam Rivers Network express about the construction of Luang Prabang
According to information from the Mekong River Commission (MRC), on July 31, 2019, the Lao PDR Government submitted a detailed description of the Luang Prabang Hydropower Project in order to prepare for consultation process. Currently, on the Mekong river mainstream in Laos, two hydropower dams have been built, namely Xayaburi and Don Sahong, and two hydropower projects have been consulted in MRC, namely Pak Beng and Pak Lay. Luang Prabang is the next largest hydropower project which will be consulted under framework of the Mekong River Commission (MRC).
Luang Prabang Hydropower dam located 30km from Luang Prabang city has capacity of 1,410 MW. Among investors of Luang Prabang , PV Power of Vietnam holds the largest share with 38%, while Laos 25% and the other partners will contribute 37% .
Vietnam Rivers Network (VRN) believes that the development of hydropower dams on the Mekong river mainstream will seriously threat to the environment and livelihoods of millions of people who rely on the Mekong river. The water resources of the Mekong River in recent years affected by climate change and the construction of dams on the river mainstream, have had some adverse changes, especially for the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Therefore, if we build more dams on the mainstream, it will make things get worse.
The Luang Prabang Hydropower Project will exacerbate the environmental impacts that the Mekong Delta are facing, and the depletion of sediments that will prevent the Delta from being created, saline intrusion will occur ealier, and flood season will come late, and with the lack of water people have to exploit groundwater for use, over-exploitation of groundwater leads to subsidence, affecting livelihoods, speeding up the migration process. These problems can lead to the degradation and disintegration of the Mekong Delta.
Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is facing increasing challenges, so if Vietnam participates in the construction of the Luang Prabang Dam, it will also contribute to negative impacts on the Mekong Delta, pushing people’s livelihoods into even more difficult situations in the context of the delta being coped with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.
Vietnam Rivers Network proposes Petro Vietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) and authorities to reconsider in the investment in the Luang Prabang Hydroelectric Project in Laos.
Vietnam Rivers Network
Address: # 12A03 – 24T2 Building – Hoang Dao Thuy – Cau Giay – Hanoi