Power and water consulting firm Entura, part of Hydro Tasmania, is supporting the efforts of the Government of Laos to increase the safety of its existing and future dams.
Entura’s director International Business Development and managing director India Ajay Sharma said Entura is bringing its expertise in dam safety to make a positive and enduring difference in Laos, where hydropower is a major contributor to the economy and community.
“The critical importance of this work is underlined by the recent failures of the Xepian Xe Namnoy dam and the Nam Aow dam,” he said.
International consulting firms PWC and Entura were engaged to conduct a work program, including visiting a number of projects across the country and studying the existing provisions for dam safety under the prevailing legal framework.
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In response, Entura has now drafted a set of eight dam safety guidelines, relating to aspects such as geology and geotechnical investigations; quality during construction and commissioning; ongoing safety surveillance; management and governance; training of personnel; and how to prepare and implement an Emergency Action Plan to deal with disasters, such as the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy failure in July 2018.
“Entura has partnered with many clients in the Mekong region to deliver solutions across the whole lifecycle of hydropower projects, including internationally recognised approaches to dam safety and we are pleased to support Laos in its efforts towards greater dam safety and energy security,” Mr Sharma said.
“We acknowledge the support of many parties in framing these guidelines, including the Government of Laos, Ministry of Energy and Mines, World Bank, PWC – India, Multiconsult, the expert committee on dam safety, and others,” he said.
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Entura has just presented the dam safety guidelines at a round table meeting held in the capital, Vientiane. The guidelines are expected to be implemented after ministerial approval and will form part of the existing Laos Electrical Power Technical Standards.
Entura is supporting a number of significant hydropower projects in Laos, including owner’s engineer services for the Nam Long 2 and Nam Long 3 hydropower projects, and feasibility studies for the Nam Ngum 2 and Nam Ngum 3 hydropower projects.
Entura has also provided customised training through the Entura clean energy and water institute, and supported the sustainable development of the Mekong region through sustainability assessment and participation in regional forums.