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Laos postpones construction on Xayaburi Dam

Laos has postponed construction of the controversial Xayaburi dam project on the Lower Mekong River, a spokesman for its Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quoted saying on Wednesday.

“No construction is going on. It’s discontinued, postponed,” Sithong Chitgnothin told Radio Free Asia in Laos.

“The agreement of the four MRC members still stands, and the Lao government will always abide by it.”

Thai company Ch. Karnchang announced in April it had signed a contract – with a March 15 start date – to build the 1,260-megawatt dam in northern Laos.

However, Minister of Water Resources and Cambodia National Mekong Committee chairman Lim Kean Hor wrote to Laos
last month urging authorities to halt construction.

The Mekong River Commission countries – Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam – agreed in December to a study to gauge the dam’s potential impact before it was built.

Sithong Chitgnothin could not be reached yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at



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