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Newsletter: The investment and construction of power stations by Chinese enterprises has brought new development opportunities to remote mountainous areas of Laos

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Xinhua News Agency, Vientiane, November 24 Newsletter: Chinese companies invest in power stations to bring new opportunities for development in remote mountainous areas of Laos

Xinhua News Agency reporter Zhang Jianhua

"I haven't been to Fengshali for many years. I can't believe it when I see the hydropower stations built by China Power Construction on the Nam Ou River, and they help the locals build new villages and build roads. Residents' lives are getting better and better. The changes here It is very big, and I am grateful and admire Power China from the bottom of my heart.” Rasamy, a reporter from the Lao Socio-Economic Daily, told a reporter from Xinhua News Agency recently in Phongsaly Province, a border area between Laos and China.

What Rasamy is talking about is PowerChina’s Nam Ou River Basin Cascade Hydropower Project. It is located on the Nam Ou River, the largest tributary of the Mekong River in Laos. The project is located in Luang Prabang and Phongsali provinces in northern Laos. The project includes 7 cascade power stations with a total unit capacity of 1.272 million kilowatts, and will be fully put into operation by the end of September 2021.

"We have 71 households and more than 500 people in Zalun Village. We moved here in 2016 because of the construction of the hydropower station. They (China Power Construction) built us a solid house and expanded the road. Now it is very convenient for the villagers to travel." Feng Feng Zhong Senhe, the 49-year-old village head of Zalun Village in Shari Province, told reporters that the village has been connected to roads due to the construction of the Nam Ou River Cascade Power Station. The arrival of Chinese companies has brightened the development prospects of this mountain village. "Most of our village is mountainous, with little flat land. Not only are roads accessible now, but there are also new schools and clinics. The schools used to be wooden houses, but now Chinese companies have built brick houses."

"The Nam Ou River Basin uses the most reasonable plan to minimize the relocation of original residents, minimize the inundation of cultivated land and forest land, and minimize the impact on the ecological environment." Song Huihong, general manager of China Power Construction Laos Nam Ou River Basin Power Generation Co., Ltd., who is in charge of the operation of the power station, introduced He said that the Nam Ou River cascade hydropower project can not only play the role of regulating the regional power station group to ensure the safety and stability of the Laos power grid, but also play a role in regional water resource management, meteorological resource cooperation, hydropower technology education and training base, and help Lanzhou power grid. The positive role of the Mekong cooperation demonstration, the promotion of public welfare and the development of the people's livelihood in the region, "provides reliable energy support for the economic and social progress of Laos, and continuously injects new development momentum."

In addition, the Nam Ou River Basin hydropower project has also built a hydrological forecasting system covering about 25,000 square kilometers in northern Laos, and cooperated with China's Yunnan Meteorological System. Through precise dispatching and centralized control management of the river basin, real-time grasp of the basin's weather, rain and water conditions, Minimize the impact of floods on coastal residents. All information and data of the weather forecast and water regime forecasting system are shared with the Lao side.

“We take responsibility for the development project first, and let the local people live and work in peace and contentment is our ultimate goal. During the development and construction of the Nan’oujiang Hydropower Project, we built 30 new villages for local immigrants, built more than 20 bridges, and more than 500 kilometers of roads, which greatly benefited the local people. Improve the production and living standards of local residents, so that the villagers around the project no longer rely on the sky for harvest, and live in brick-concrete structures on stilts." Song Huihong said.

The local government of Laos spoke highly of PowerChina's Nam Ou River Basin Cascade Hydropower Project. Kempei, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Governor of Phongsali Province, told reporters a few days ago that PowerChina has built four power stations in Phongsali Province, injecting new momentum into the economic and social development of Phongsali Province. PowerChina also built roads and bridges for the local area, built new villages for immigrants, connected water and electricity to the villages, repaired docks, and helped residents along the route improve their production and living standards.

"These are good things that benefit the people. Fengshali has developed rapidly in the past few years, and the urban infrastructure has taken on a new look. This is inseparable from the strong support of the Nam Ou River project of Power China," said Kempei. "During the epidemic, Chinese companies took the initiative It is very valuable to use the spare camp as an isolation room, and donate anti-epidemic materials to the local government. PowerChina has done a lot of practical work to benefit the people. This is the benefit brought by China's "Belt and Road" initiative. It is a practical manifestation of the deepening of China-China friendship."

(Editors in charge: Liu Jieyan, Yang Mu)

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