1.1 Project Location.
The Project is located on the Nam Ngiep River, a tributary of the Mekong River (MAP 1). The river joins the Mekong at Pakxan, a city located only 120 km away from Vientiane. The Nam Ngiep River originates in Xiang Khouang Province and runs about 160 km before joining the Mekong, 1300 m lower in elevation. The Project area stretch from Bolikhamxay Province to Vientiane Province, the main dam, re-regulation dam and powerhouse are located in Bolikhan District, Bolikhamxay Province while major part of the reservoir area belongs to Hom District, Vientiane Province.
MAP1: location of the project
KANSAI, EGAT and Rojana (collectively, “the Consortium”) entered into an agreement to jointly develop the Project and signed a memorandum of understanding (“the Consortium MOU”) on 9th April 2007. NK withdrew from the Project due to their company policy upon signing the Consortium MOU. In September 2007 Rojana withdrawn from the Project due to its policy investment.
1.2 Project Rationale.
Nam Ngiep 1 is a 290-megawatt hydropower project under construction in Bolikhamxay and Xaysomboun provinces of the Lao PDR. The project is being built and will be operated by the Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company, whose goal is to build a socially and environmentally responsible power project that will provide clean renewable electricity and contribute to poverty reduction in Laos.
NNP1 is working with local people and authorities to build high-quality new houses and community facilities for the villagers moving to the Houaysoup area, The Company is also developing a range of livelihood programmes for people directly affected by the project. For more details on the project’s social programs click here.
Environmental protection is also crucial to the long-term success of the project and NNP1 has created a dedicated Environmental Management Office to ensure that the project minimizes its local footprint and also contributes to improved conservation measures and environmental awareness on a national scale.
1.3 Project History.
The NNP1 Hydropower Project was identified in the early 1990s and a preliminary Feasibility Study (FS) was conducted by SOGREAH Consultants with funding from the French government in 1991. An MOU was signed between the Government of Lao (GOL) and Shlapak Group of USA in 1991 but was cancelled in 1996. As the request of the GOL, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through Nippon Koei (NK) conducted a new FS of the Project in two phases, 1998-2000 (Phase1: focus on environmental impacts) and 2001-2002 (Phase2: focus on technical and commercial aspects). The FS submitted to GOL in November 2002, confirmed the feasibility of the Project on a Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis and recommended the optimal development plan of the Project based on physical, economic and safeguard considerations.
After the FS, NK as an investor concluded the MOU with GOL to implement a further study of the Project in May 2003. During the term, KANSAI joined the study, KANSAI and NK made a review report in May 2004. After the negotiation with GOL, KANSAI and NK signed the Project Development Agreement (PDA) on 27th April 2006 for the further development of the Project.