Laos to work with Korean, Thai and Laos owners during investigation

PHOTO: Laos PM Thongloun Sisoulith

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo – Vientiane Times

As the mopping up continues in southern Laos, relief starts to pour in and the death tolls rises, the Laos government is no promising a ‘transparent and just’ investigation.

“The government will work with the countries whose companies are stakeholders in the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower project to investigate the cause of the collapse of the project’s saddle dam.” Laos PM Thongloun Sisoulith.

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The Vientiane Times has confirmed that the 410 MW capacity hydro plant is a joint venture between SK Engineering and Construction (Republic of Korea), Korea Western Power (Republic of Korea), Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding PCL (Thailand), and Lao Holding State Enterprise (Laos).

The collapse of the dam flooded many villages in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province. Rescuers have now located the remains of 10 people as of yesterday and with more than 100 still declared missing. Thousands more have been left homeless.

“The government of the Lao PDR will cooperate with the governments of countries whose companies have been registered [as a stakeholder] to address this issue,” he said while visiting the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to witness the donation of relief supplies.

“The government of Laos will investigate intensively to find out the true cause. The design, the construction contractor, and the consulting companies will also be investigated. The government will also look into the responsibilities of the authorities.”

Minister of Energy and Mines Dr Khammany Inthirath told a press conference last week that the company concerned would not be in a position to deny its responsibility for the deadly flood, the biggest to occur in Laos.

“Regarding the matter of compensation, I would like to affirm that, based on the concession agreement, all incidents related to the construction of the dam must be borne by the project developer 100 percent,” he said.

An official from the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Company agreed that the firm would take full responsibility under the law and its concession agreement.

The Laos PM also said that the Laos government will also do its best to provide relief assistance and rehabilitate those who had lost houses and other property as well as rebuilding their communities to enable them to return to a normal life.

Laos to work with Korean, Thai and Laos owners during investigation | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Vientiane Times/The Nation

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