Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Lao Government will work with countries whose companies are stakeholders in the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower project to investigate the cause of the dam break, said Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on July 29.

“The government of the Lao PDR will cooperate with the governments of countries whose companies have been registered to address this issue,” the Vientiane Times quoted PM Thongloun Sisoulith as saying when he visited the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to witness the donation of relief supplies.

He pledged that the government will intensively investigate to find out the true cause of the dam break, saying the investigation would take place in a transparent and just manner, the Laos-based newspaper reported.
                                                                                              
The design, the construction contractor, and the consulting companies will also be investigated, he noted, adding that the Lao Government will also look into the responsibilities of the authorities

The Lao leader affirmed that his government, with support and assistance from all sectors, friendly countries and international organisations, would do its utmost to search for and rescue those who were still missing. It 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, he said.

The Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam collapsed at 8:00pm on July 23, causing massive flooding which completely isolated six villages in Sanamxay district of Attapeu province. 

Some 587 families with 3,060 people were reportedly made homeless, while more than 100 people were still unaccounted for. 

The 410 MW capacity hydropower plant is being constructed by the Sepien-Senamnoi Power Company (PNPC), which is a joint-venture of SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C) and Korea Western Power (KOWEPO) from the Republic of Korea, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH) from Thailand, and Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE). 

Construction of the project, which is estimated to cost 1.02 billion USD, began in February 2013 and commercial operations were expected to begin this year.–VNA