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NT2: Frequently Asked Questions

 Frequently Asked Questions

This material about the proposed Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project in Lao PDR has been provided in response to frequently asked questions raised during local consultations and at international stakeholder workshops by project-affected people, civil-society organizations, the media, and other interested parties.


Section 1

The Role of the World Bank in NT2 and Lao PDR's Development Challenges:


Has the World Bank made a decision to support the Nam Theun 2 project? What criteria has the Bank used to inform its decision-making about the project?

1.2What kind of support and financing is the World Bank providing for the project?

Why is the World Bank supporting this project? What benefits would this project bring to Lao PDR?


This is a complex project. How has the Bank reviewed the various aspects of NT2?

1.5Why is this project important for Lao PDR?
1.6How is the country doing in terms of economic growth and reducing poverty?
1.7What are Lao PDR’s options for expanding its economy?
1.8Is the Lao government improving the way it manages its economy—to be able to manage the influx of NT2 revenues? Is it committed to using the revenues for poverty reduction?
1.9How can you ensure the revenues from the project will be spent in the manner they are intended, ie, for poverty reduction and environment conservation activities?
1.10Does this project signal that the World Bank is back in the dam business?
1.11Does Thailand really need this power? Aren’t there alternatives?

Section 2

Environmental and Social Impacts:

What are the expected impacts of the project on the Nakai Plateau and on the people who now live there?


What about logging on the Nakai Plateau? When did the World Bank require that logging on the plateau stop?


Has the World Bank, the Lao government or the project developers, produced a report of the logging associated with the proposed dam project?


In 1996, Margules, Groome and Pöyry wrote a "Forestry Report" for the Nam Theun 2 project. In this report they described the development of timber industry (sawmills etc), largely fed by logging from the reservoir area of the proposed dam. Does this timber industry still exist, and if so from where does it currently source its timber?


What about impacts on the plateau’s natural habitats and wildlife?

2.6What are the expected impacts of the project on the Nakai Nam Theun National Protected Area and the NT 2 Watershed area?
2.7What are the expected downstream impacts?
2.8How will the people impacted by the changing water levels—especially possible fisheries loss—be compensated?
2.9What about broader impacts, such as those on the Mekong, or regional water basin?
2.10Are the people aware of the potential negative impacts of this project? How can you verify that those being resettled are fully informed and participating in the process, given the cultural and linguistic barriers to information gathering?

Section 3

Related Issues:

How has the Bank applied the lessons from Pak Mun Dam in Thailand and other dams to Nam Theun 2?

3.2What lessons has NT2 taken from the World Commission on Dams (WCD) process?

NTPC awarded the head construction contract to Electricité de France (EdF) and the main dam construction contract to the Ital-Thai Development Ltd., both of which are members of NTPC, with no competitive bidding involved. Isn’t this in breach of World Bank guidelines?


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