Mar 3, 2013

Government announces plans for six dams on Thanlwin River

The Thanlwin River will soon lose its status as a dam-free waterway as six hydropower projects have been approved for it, Deputy Minister of Electrical Power Myint Zaw told Parliament yesterday.

The projects will span Shan, Kayar and Karen states and generate a combined 15,000 megawatts of power when completed, he said.

The six projects have already been named: Upper Thanlwin (Kwanlon), Upper Thanlwin (Minetone), Hatgyi, Naungpha, Mantaung and Ywarthit.

Five companies from China, one Thai company and three domestic companies will work with the government on the projects. The three local companies are Goldwater Resources Ltd., International Group of Entrepreneurs Co. Ltd. and Shwe Taung Hydropower Co. Ltd. Thailand’s EGAT International will work on the dam in Karen State.

The names of the five Chinese companies are not been released yet.

The projects will be constructed under the build-operate-transfer system.

Memorandums of understanding and environmental and social impact assessments have been completed for two projects, the Upper Thanlwin (Kwanlon) and Hatgyi. Memorandums of understanding have been signed for the remaining projects but environmental and social impact assessments have not yet been completed.

The 2,815-kilometre Thanlwin is one of the longest rivers in the world, flowing from the Tibetan plateau into the Andaman Sea. In 2003, sections of the river’s mid-region watershed were included within the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media