The government of Laos has committed to keeping a close eye on the safety measures of all hydroelectric dams nationwide following the failure of a saddle dam at Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydropower reservoir in the southern province of Attapeu.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines announced yesterday it ordered that the management of all hydropower dams stay on alert and keep a close eye on weather forecasts and manage rising levels of water in reservoirs.
In addition, hydropower projects must report on their water management to the ministry regularly so that it will be in a position to come up with a plan to respond in case of emergency, the announcement stated.
After examining the safety of the dam nationwide the Ministry had found no major incidents except for Xe Pian Xe Namnoy, a high-ranking official from the ministry who acts a focal point between the government and power project developers told Vientiane Times yesterday.
"We are checking the operation of the dams nationwide. From the reports, we received so far, there are no major incidents except Xe Pian Xe Namnoy. Only three dams informed that they were discharging water, which was considered as per normal practices" the official said.
Dams that are discharging water to maintain water at safety level include 180 MW Nam Gniep 2 in Xiengkhuan province, 86 MW Nam Phay in Xaysomboun province, 168 MW Nam Tha 1 in the border area between Bokeo and Luang Namtha provinces.
Khammuan’s Nam Theun 2 was also among those to announce measures, in the form of a stoppage to power generation in order to release water into a downstream channel Tuesday.
The Power Administration Department confirmed yesterday it had agreed to the request by the management of Nam Tha 1 and Nam Gniep 2 to discharge water as part of efforts to follow safety standards and implementation plans.
Another source described the water discharge as standard practice in such case the water level in the dam reservoir increases.
This practice aims to maintain the safety level of the dam, he said.