MRC Chief Executive Officer Pham Tuan Phan (R) speaks at the event (Source: VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) – The second Regional Stakeholder Forum on the Pak Beng Hydropower Plant opened in Vientiane, Laos, on May 5.

Chief Executive Officer for the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Pham Tuan Phan, Government officials from the four MRC countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, attended the event, together with representatives from international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

Delegates discussed issues and ideas raised in the first forum which was held in Luang Prabang in late February.

Preliminary results of technical assessment of the project conducted by the MRC Secretariat were also announced at the event.

Also on the day, a national-level consultation on the hydropower plant was organised in Hanoi.

Participants expressed concerns over cross-border impacts of the project, especially on aquaculture, alluvium and livelihoods of people in upper and lower Mekong River areas.

They stressed the need for scientific evidence on the efficiency of solutions related to fish migration carried out by investors, as well as preventive measures in case of dyke break or floods.

The ideas collected at the event and other channels will be sent to the Mekong River Commission and the Vietnam National Mekong Committee.

Members of the MRC are scheduled to contribute their opinions on the Pak Beng project to the Lao Government through the MRC in June.

Lying in Pak Beng district in the northern Lao province of Oudomsay, Pak Beng hydropower plant has a designed capacity of 912MW and an average annual generation output of 4.775 GWh per year. It is the third plant on the Mekong River mainstream after Sayabouly and Don Sahong.

In November 2016, the Lao government submitted detailed description of Pak Beng to the MRC Secretariat to seek approval for the six-month consultation process which started on December 20, 2016.-VNA