The Lao government and two firms have signed an agreement for developing Xebangfai 1 (Keng Keo) hydro-power project.

  The project development agreement was signed in Vientiane on Friday by representatives of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Laosamay Road Bridge Construction Co Ltd and Nara Clean Energy Co Ltd.The signing ceremony was witnessed by deputy ministers from relevant ministries and provincial authorities.

  Speaking at the ceremony, the President of Laosamay Road Bridge Construction, Mr Phouvong Korasack, said the Xebangfai 1 (Keng Keo) hydro-power project is a run-of-river dam with an installed capacity of 100 MW. The project will not impact people living in the project area, he said.

  The company began a technical and economic feasibility study for the project in 2013 and then it signed a memorandum of understanding with the government in 2015.In 2017, Laosamy Road Bridge Construction signed a cooperation agreement with Nara Clean Energy to carry out more surveys and collect information on the viability of the proposed plant and its potential environmental impact, he said.

  Once it is completed, people living in the project area will gain huge benefits, such as sufficient electricity and water for agricultural production and livestock breeding, irrigation to prevent floods and drought and a natural tourist attraction in the area, said Mr Phouvong.

  The Xebangfai 1 hydro-power project will not only produce electricity for domestic use and export but also supply water for rice and crop production throughout year, said the Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Souphan Keomixay.Additionally, the project will have little impact on the environment and society because local people will not be relocated because of the plant.

  It will contribute to promoting the economic development of the region and enable the area to become a natural tourist site, he said.