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Laos opens US$1.3bn hydroelectric dam

Updated On: Dec 10, 2010

A dam project that will account for an estimated of 40% of Laos' economic growth this year has been officially opened.

The dam has been operational since April and is expected to bring in US$2 billion over the next 25 years. Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, called Laos a potential "battery" of Southeast Asia because of its hydroelectric power potential.

The project had been stalled for years due to activists' protests over sustainability and forced migration.

Thailand is set to purchase 95% of the dam's output this year.

New dam changes life in Laos [BBC, 9 December 2010
New Laos Dam Test for Hydropower Projects [Wall Street Journal, 9 December 2010]