LAOS will undertake a prior consultation with Mekong River Commission (MRC) members over a new Mekong hydropower project, the MRC Secretariat has announced.
The Mekong River Commission Secretariat released a media statement on Thursday, saying that it had received an official notification from the Lao government that it would undertake the formal process of prior consultation on its Paklai hydropower project.
The planned run-of-river dam will be located in the Paklai area in the northern province of Xayaboury. Electricity generation facilities would operate continuously year-round and produce 770MW of power, the MRC media statement said.
The Lao government proposed the prior consultation with Mekong River Commission (MRC) members over the Paklai hydropower project as part of its obligations under the 1995 Mekong Agreement.
The MRC Secretariat will, within one month, review the document and verify its completeness against the prior consultation procedures before forwarding the case to the MRC’s Joint Committee, a body consisting of four member countries’ representatives at the head-of-department level where the consultation takes place.
The prior consultation is part of the MRC’s procedural rules on cooperation on water use of the Mekong mainstream: Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA).
This process normally lasts six months, but could be extended further by the Joint Committee.
The MRC has so far experienced three prior consultation cases – the Xayaboury, Don Sahong, and Pakbaeng hydropower projects, all of which are situated on the Mekong mainstream in Laos.