Norway’s Statkraft is Claimed by FIVAS to Have Ruined Rivers in Laos Through Its Hydropower Project

A Norwegian advocacy group, FIVAS, made a report claiming that the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project co-owned by the Lao government, a Thai company and Statkraft, Norway’s state-owned power utility which holds a minority shareholding of 20% in Lao’s Theun Hinboun Power, has ruined the ecology of two rivers in Laos.
Published on December 6, 2007 the FIVAS’s report claims that the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project has caused major flooding along the Hai and Hinboun Rivers due to water releases from the project which leads to a reduction in fish and other aquatic resources. Statkraft and the Theun-Hinboun Power Company are proposing an expansion of this project.
“It’s outrageous that Statkraft, which is owned by one of the richest countries in the world, is making profits at the expense of some of Southeast Asia’s poorest people,” said Mr. Andrew Preston, Director of Fivas.
Statkraft has responded to the FIVAS’s report saying that it contains many excellent suggestions which are mostly out of date and based on old report rather than the new environmental impact assessment and many of the problems mentioned in the review have already been discussed in the assessment and have been addressed in the remedial measures plan.
“The objective is that the local inhabitants should be in a better position after the project has been completed,” said Knut Fjerdingstad, Statkraft’s Spokesperson.
“Statkraft believes that we can make this into an example for other projects relating to the sustainable generation of clean energy in a region where there is great need for growth and development,” he added.

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