Hanoi (VNA) – The Mekong River Commission (MRC) has recently decided to carry out consultations on the Pak Lay hydropower project in Laos, starting on August 8, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Vietnam’s consultation work is being held from August 2018 to February 2019 by the ministry and the Vietnam National Mekong Committee, with a focus on assessing the project’s consequences, especially those affecting Vietnam; holding national consultation workshops; and preparing Vietnam’s ideas at regional consultations.

Representatives of Vietnamese ministries and sectors, Mekong Delta localities, non-governmental organisations, and scientists are participating in the consultation procedures.

Pak Lay will be the fourth hydroelectric facility to be built on the Mekong River as proposed by the Lao government, following Don Sahong, Xayaburi, and Pak Beng.

On June 12, the Lao National Mekong Committee submitted a detailed description of the planned project to the MRC Secretariat for review and to inform member countries about the project’s scope and other requirements under the consultation process.

The MRC will organise the first regional stakeholder forum on the Pak Lay hydropower project in Vientiane, Laos, on September 20-21.

The forum aims to provide information on the Pak Lay project and the MRC’s prior consultation process, looking to create a platform that enables stakeholders to raise their legitimate concerns and give suggestions on the project and its activities.

This is also a unique opportunity for involved parties to share and take note of all concerns with MRC member countries, especially those proposing the construction of hydropower plants, in order to ease any dismay.

The Pak Lay dam was proposed to be built in Laos’ Xayaburi province. The dam is located downstream of the Xayaburi dam – which is now nearing completion – and approximately 100km from the Thai border.

The construction of the 770MW project is expected to start in 2022 and be completed by 2029. –VNA