World Bank Approves Loan For Laos Dam
The Washington-based development lender will provide as much as $270 million in funding and risk guarantees to the project, which is being developed by Electricite de France and two Thai companies in cooperation with the Laos government.
"The US$1.2 billion Nam Theun 2 is the biggest single project undertaken in (Laos), and is expected to provide (Laos) with up to US$150 million in additional annual revenue," the bank said in a statement announcing the decision.
Sales to Thailand of 95 percent of the 1,070 megawatts of power the dam will generate beginning in 2010 will be a key income source for landlocked Laos, the Bank said.
But critics say the dam threatens wildlife and that the World Bank has underestimated the social and economic impact of the project. Detractors also say the Communist government of Laos has a poor record on corruption and human rights.