Mekong Utility Watch

Damming the Mekong: Canadian Connection

December 31, 1989

Bankrolling Disaster along the Mekong

Through the Asian Development Bank, Canadian taxpayers financed studies recommending up to 15 giant hydroelectric dams on the upper Mekong and 40 tributary dams; Mekong farms, fisheries and water supplies, vital to the livelihoods of 100 million people, are threatened.

Through the United Nations Development Programme, Canadian taxpayers financed another study, recommending up to 11 giant dams on the lower Mekong and the Great Lake; at least 60,000 people and several thousand square kilometres of land are threatened. Acres International of Canada co-authored the study.


1 Kamchay Dam
Hydro-Quebec signed an agreement with the Cambodian government to build the dam; Hydro-Quebec and Herve Pomerleau Inter-national conducted the feasibility study with a CIDA grant. Hydro-Quebec is negotiating financing with the World Bank and ADB; communities, farms and water supplies are at risk.

2 Dai Ninh Dam
The World Bank is considering lending US$175 million to the Vietnamese government to construct the dam; CIDA paid SNC-Lavalin, Canada’s largest engineering company, to conduct the project feasibility study; if completed, the dam will flood 14,000 people off their land.

3 & 4 Nam Tha I and Nam Khan II Dams Acres International, Hydro-Quebec and RSW International conducted project feasibility studies with CIDA grants; communities, forests, land and fisheries are threatened.

5 Nam Theun I Dam Canadian General Electric is part of a German-based consortium vying for construction contracts; the World Bank and the Export Development Corporation are potential financiers; up to 700 square kilometres of forest would be flooded and dozens of communities displaced.

6 Nam Theun-Hinboun Dam The Asian Development Bank is financing construction; if completed, the dam will destroy two river systems and the livelihoods of at least 6,000 people.

7 Nam Theun II Dam The World Bank financed project studies; if built, the dam would flood 5,000 people off their land and 500 square kilometres of the country’s largest biodiversity conservation area.

8 Xekong and Se San Hydro Electric Development The Asian Development Bank is financing studies of 25 large hydro dams slated for the Xekong and Se San watersheds of highland Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Quebec group to help Viet Nam’s power sector
VNN, June 23, 1998 The Hydro Quebec International Group will invest in developing hydro-electric power plants and high-tension power systems in Viet Nam and other countries in the region. The Canadian province of Quebec’s government has agreed to an investment portfolio worth US$1.2 billion for the group’s work over the next five years. The Vietnamese Government may allow the group and a number of local corporations to develop the se San 3 hydro-electric plant in central Viet Nam as a BOT (build-operate-transfer) project.

Categories: Mekong Utility Watch

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