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Sustainable Hydropower in the Mekong Region

During his presentation at a two-day mid-January workshop in Naypyidaw, Director U Min Khaing announced an ambitious vision for the country’s power sector – to fulfill [Myanmar’s] electricity demands by 2030.
In Lao PDR, few small hydropower developers have been able to secure loans from domestic banks. More than 150 small hydropower project agreements have been signed, yet many projects are still working to secure the necessary funding.
At the 9th Lao Business Forum, the Hydropower Developers’ Working Group (HDWG) of the Lao PDR presented its first statement on sector issues, part of its effort to effect sustainable change within the country’s hydropower sector.
Experts agree that private sector involvement will be essential to sustainably develop the Mekong Basin. Yet cooperation and information sharing between the private sector and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) remains limited.
With its global expertise on sustainable hydropower development, IFC provides tailored advice to hydropower companies and lending banks to help them address environmental, labor, occupational health, and safety issues effectively.



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IFC offers tailor-made advisory services, technical expertise, and training opportunities to stakeholders in Lao PDR’s hydropower industry.


With more than 70 hydropower projects planned throughout the country, IFC supports the Ministry of Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Energy and Mines to improve policies and regulations,  with the aim of developing projects that follow good international industry practices  to protect the environment and local people’s livelihoods.


To meet growing energy demands, financial institutions are increasingly investing in Lao hydropower projects. These institutions can increase overall project and financial performance by putting in place effective environmental and social management systems and mitigating risks upfront, and IFC can help them do that.


An open and transparent dialogue between different stakeholders can help raise environmental and social standards for hydropower projects. That is why IFC seeks to partner with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure all parties are able to better anticipate, evaluate, and manage the cumulative impacts of hydropower development.


Recently, IFC established a platform for hydropower developers to discuss the challenges they are facing and voice concerns to the government. The Hydropower Developers’ Working Group  meets quarterly and is open to all companies interested in improving hydropower standards in Lao PDR.

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