Laos “breaks ground” for contentious Mekong dam at Xayaburi

Thai anti-dam protestors on the Mekong near Ventiene, Laos

Laos held a ceremony on Wednesday for a $3.5bn (£2.2bn) hydropower dam on the Mekong River that is opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries because of the possible impact on livelihoods, fisheries and agriculture.

“We had the opportunity to listen to the views and opinions of different countries along the river. We have come to an agreement and chose today to be the first day to begin the project,” the deputy prime minister, Somsavat Lengsavad, said at the site.

The developing south-east Asian country has ambitions to become the “battery of south-east Asia” through power exports from dams across the 3,044 mile Mekong.

via Laos breaks ground in ceremony for contentious Mekong dam | Environment | guardian.co.uk.

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