ADB Announces Funding for Laos Dam

Posted November 3rd, 2011 at 3:35 am (UTC-5)
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The Asian Development Bank has announced more than $450 million in financial backing for a hydro-electric project in Laos.

The bank said Thursday the project will generate more than $770 million of revenue for the impoverished country, of which more than $200 million will be earmarked for poverty reduction and environmental protection programs.

The 220-meter-high dam will be built on the Nam Ngum River in northern Laos, where it will create a 27.5-square-kilometer reservoir. The bank said 144 families will be relocated and provided with titles to their new homes and farmland.

The ADB said power from the dam will be sold to neighboring Thailand, where power is now generated mainly by burning fossil fuels. It said the project will save Thailand from generating 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year — the equivalent of taking 175,000 vehicles off the road.

The bank said its strict environmental and social safeguards will minimize the environmental and social impact of the project and see that residents who are directly affected will end up better off than they are now.