THE GOVERNMENT OF LAOS HAS signed a US$2B concession agreement with the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) for the development of the 1070MW Nam Theun II hydro dam to supply power to neighbouring Thailand. The project has been under consideration since 1997 but was stalled due to financing and environmental concerns.

Under the agreement, NTPC obtained a concession from the government of Laos to build, own and operate the dam for 25 years. NTPC will pay a total of US$2B in concession fees to the government for the whole 15-year period, and will transfer the dam to the government’s control when this expires. NTPC, with registered capital of US$400M, is a group of syndicated investors comprising Electricite de France International, Electricity Generating Co, Electricite du Laos and Italian-Thai Co.

  The proposed 50m high RCC dam to be built on the Nam Theun river will have an installed capacity of 1070MW. The hydro reservoir is expected to submerge 447km2 of the Nakai Plateau area in Laos. Conservationists have alleged that the project will cause deforestation and relocation of some 5000 people from the Nakai Plateau, but the developer says the project will provide environmental and social benefits to local people.
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