Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Firm denies dam report bias

Firm denies dam report bias

Firm denies dam report bias

A consulting firm commissioned by the Lao government to prepare a report on the controversial US$3.8 billion Xayaburi dam project has rejected claims by environmentalists that their assessment was “biased” due partly to existing ties with a project backer.

On Wednesday, conservation group International Rivers claimed that the report by Pöyry Energy AG – whose parent company is based in Finland – recommended that the proposed Xayaburi dam in northern Laos proceed despite gaps in scientific and technical studies and an incomplete regional decision-making process.

The report by Pöyry was commissioned by the Lao government in May, following concerns raised by Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam in April about the transboundary impacts of the dam throughout the Mekong Basin.

In particular, International Rivers highlighted Pöyry’s consultancy for the Nam Ngum 2 dam in Laos, of which one shareholder is Thailand’s Ch Karnchang – one of the backers of the proposed Xayaburi dam.

A representative of Pöyry told the Post via email that the company had “no partnership or special relationship with CH. Karnchang [sic]” and that Ch Karnchang was only a “minority shareholder” in the Nam Ngum 2 project.

“We would like to stress that Pöyry has no conflict of interest in the Xayaburi project,” the representative said. “Our report is based on comprehensive technical analysis supported by our company’s extensive experience in the field.”

The representative also said that Pöyry’s services for the project did not include “any feasibility study or environmental and social impact assessments”.

Representatives from the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Lao embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Twenty years after Pol Pot died a broken man, his memory looms large

    Two decades have passed, but Mea Chron still stands by Pol Pot. Most days he also stands by the mass murderer’s cremation site, keeping guard in the Khmer Rouge’s last stronghold of Anlong Veng. Pol Pot, the widely reviled despot who spearheaded the

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • ‘Trouble’ foreseen in Khmer New Year almanac

    At 9:12am on Saturday, Cambodia’s devout can expect the arrival of Moha Thorathevey, an angel on a peacock holding a trident in one hand and an auspicious serrated wheel in the other. The angel, who has a liking for water hyacinths, will usher in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the