As Myanmar works to build a hydropower sector, IFC experts say involving the private sector from the get-go and drawing from the experience of resource-rich neighboring countries such as Lao PDR will be the right move for the country.
“It is crucial that we understand every project proposal and developer is different,” says Sosouphanh. “When we approach a negotiation, we need to be prepared with solid background information on the developers."
In hydropower development, feasibility studies foretell potential project impact and weigh risks against benefits. While these studies are a requirement for all hydropower developers in Lao PDR, there is limited guidance on what information to includ
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IFC Promotes Sustainability of the Hydropower Sector in Lao PDR
Lao People’s Democratic Republic is one of the least developed countries in Southeast Asia and 28 percent of its population lives below the national poverty line of about $1.50 a day. With more than 80 percent of the country’s hydropower potential untapped, the government has identified hydropower development as key to stimulating economic growth and alleviating poverty.
Tapping into this rich natural resource could bring electricity to nearly all rural households by 2020, drive business growth and generate income to reduce poverty. Power supplies would also allow companies to move into rural areas, creating jobs for local communities. The challenge, however, is to develop this natural resource sustainably. [read more]