Category: Mekong Utility Watch

Probe Alert: Asian Development Bank bulldozes ahead with Mekong dams

(June 1, 1997) If the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (AsDB) has its way over the next decade, the Mekong and its largest tributaries will be choked by a series of giant hydropower dams, and up to 60 million ethnic minority people could be forced out of the region’s highlands.

World Bank ‘could be partly to blame’ but information may have been withheld

(April 22, 1997) The World Bank is partly to blame for the plight of villagers affected by the Pak Moon dam, a bank expert said yesterday. Resettlement specialist Warren Wicklin III said the bank may have failed to obtain full information on the project when it was proposed to the bank for financing which is one reason why affected villagers did not receive adequate compensation. "It’s possible the Thai government withheld information that could have had a negative impact on our decision-making but it’s also our fault that we didn’t try to obtain correct and enough information either," he said.

Thai utility drops Nam Theun 2 hydro project but World Bank tries to keep it alive

(March 6, 1997) The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has decided not to purchase power from the yet-to-be-built Nam Theun 2 dam in Laos until at least 2004, according to a report in the Bangkok daily, The Nation. The World Bank is still involved in the project, despite EGAT’s withdrawal, insisting it will not make a decision to finance the dam until the Lao government and the project’s private developers have completed environmental impact and resettlement studies. World Bank official Nina Shapiro, contacted last week, was unaware that the Nam Theun 2 power deal was in jeopardy.

US $ 270 million loan to be granted to Laos from ADB

(February 18, 1997) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Laos of US $90 million in each of the next three years, an ADB representative said in an interview in Vientiane last week. "We sent Mr. Rajendran and some other programmers to Laos to programme assistance for Laos for the next three years, and we can now say that we will grant about US $90 million to Laos each year for the years 1998, 1999 and 2000W said Mr.Rajat Nag, programme manager of the ADB’s Programmes Department.

EGAT cancels plans to purchase power from controversial dam in Laos

(October 1, 1996) The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has cancelled plans to purchase electricity from the Nam Theun 2 hydro dam, reports the Bangkok daily, The Nation. EGAT’s announcement may be the final blow for the dam’s developers, who have sunk US$30 million into the project so far but have failed to secure either World Bank or commercial financing.