Building the sustainable dam: the challenges of meeting energy and livelihoods objectives at the same time.
The Nam Theun Hinboun is one of the largest dams in Laos, the so-called ‘battery of Southeast Asia’. This run-of-the-river dam was commissioned in 1998, has 210 MW installed capacity, generating some 1,500 GWh per year, 90% of which is destined for the Thai energy markets. The plant exploits the altitudinal variation between the Nam Theun (from which it derives its water supply) and the Nam Hinboun (in to which water is emptied having passed through the plant’s turbines). The dam is currently expanding its operations – the so-called Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project (THXP), which will increase installed capacity by 60 MW.