VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): Laos is preparing a nationwide hydropower inspection procedure which will be carried out every five years to ensure safety and the maintenance of standards.
Director General of the Department of Energy Management, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Bouathep Malaykham, told the Vientiane Times on Tuesday (Jan 19) that in the next few years, the system will be complete and put into use.
The procedure will ensure that dams are closely inspected and are operating in compliance with the law and government policy.
The country's first comprehensive inspection of dams was carried out a few years ago to monitor the standard of dam construction. Future inspections will now be undertaken every five years, said the report.
There are currently 78 operational hydropower plants with a combined installed capacity of 9,972 MW in Laos.
According to the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines, dam builders have to enhance safety systems, both for existing and under-construction dams.
Existing dams are under review and more are being built under the guidance of international experts, which has led to Laos gaining membership in the International Commission on Large Dams.
The commission now has 104 members. According to the ministry, the Lao Association on Dams has been officially recognized as a member of the commission.
Bouathep said the ministry carries out checks of dams before and after the rainy season each year, and sometimes when earthquakes are reported.
Numerous dams are being built on rivers in Laos, with a target of 100 to be constructed by 2030.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines is putting in place enhanced measures and standards for dam safety as the government steps up energy generation for the sale of electricity to foreign trading partners.
Electricity is one of Laos’ main income earners, mainly through the sale of energy to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network
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