Swedish firms to study Laos’ 460-MW Nam Ngum 3

The Mines and Energy Ministry of Laos has named a pair of Swedish firms to carry out a cumulative impact assessment of the 460-MW Nam Ngum 3 hydroelectric project in Laos’ Nam Ngum River Basin.

The ministry awarded a US$773,500 contract to Vattenfall Power Consultant AB of Sweden in association with Ramboll Natura AB of Sweden.

Utilizing US$983,000 in technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Ministry of Energy and Mines seeks a cumulative impact assessment study consistent with the government’s environmental and social sustainability policy for the hydropower sector, as well as ADB policy. (HNN 12/8/06)

The study is to assess effects of the project, predict major cumulative environmental impacts of Nam Ngum 3 and other developments in the basin, indicate threshold levels of sustainable development, and set environmental parameters and targets. The results are to be used to develop a comprehensive environmental and social mitigation plan.

The contract for Component A of the technical assistance program requires consultants with expertise in water resource management, environment, hydrology, water quality, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, land use, social impact, health, geographical information systems, planning, and design and implementation of a monitoring program.

Tendering for Component B is still pending, with the anticipated deadline for expressions of interest on November 30, 2007. (HNN 12/22/06) Component B would require consultants with expertise in environmental management and capacity building.

Thailand’s biggest private power producer, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding PCL, said in 2006 that it, another Thai company, a Japanese firm, and the Laos government plan to bring the project on line in 2013.

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