Pham Tuan Phan, CEO at the MRC Secretariat (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) –
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) will organise the first regional stakeholder forum on the Pak Lay hydropower project in Vientiane, Laos, on September 20-21, according to the MRC’s press release on August 30.

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.

The forum aims to provide information on the Pak Lay project and the MRC’s prior consultation process.

Pham Tuan Phan, CEO at the MRC Secretariat, said the forum will create a platform to enable 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, he added.

The first day of the forum will provide information on and reinforce understanding of the MRC’s process under its Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation, and Agreement (PNPCA).

The second day will be devoted to other key MRC works of public interest, such as the joint action plan to carry out the Pak Beng hydropower project, environmental monitoring of hydropower projects along the Mekong river, and the revision of changes to the Xayaburi design.

Opinions shared by stakeholders will be noted in a report to be published and taken into account by the MRC Joint Committee during the consultation process.

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 completed by 2029.–VNA