Don Sahong Dam
|Don Sahong Dam|
|Owner(s)||Mega First Corporation Berhad
|Dam and spillways|
|Height||32 m (105 ft)|
|Maximum capacity||360 MW|
|As of 6 February 2011|
The Don Sahong is a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Mekong River in Siphandone area of Champasak Province, southern Laos. It is located less than two kilometers upstream of the Laos–Cambodia border.
In March 2006, the Government of Laos signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian engineering and construction company Mega First Corporation Berhad for a feasibility study of the project. In February 2008, a project development agreement was signed. In June 2008, Mega First Corporation Berhad formed a joint venture with IJM Corporation for the project development. Mega First Corporation Berhad owns 70% of shares in the joint venture while IJM Corporation has 30%.
The Don Sahong Dam is a Run-of-the-river hydroelectricity facility that would be located at the downstream end of the Hou Sahong channel between Don Sahong and Don Sadam islands. The dam's height would be between 30 and 32 metres (98 and 105 ft). It would have a capacity of 240–360 MW. Most of the produced electricity would be exported to Thailand and Cambodia.
According to International Rivers, the dam would have a serious impact on fish migration as the channel is the only one within the Khone Falls complex that is passable to migratory fishes in the dry-season.
However extensive project studies over the last few years have demonstrated that the current major impact to the Mekong fishery in this region is over-fishing pressure, with catches declining markedly over the last 10 years or so. To offset the barrier effect of the dam, the project's developers have proposed removing snags and barriers in nearby channels to improve fish passage in the dry season.
The Don Sahong Dam would threaten the Veun Nyang/Anlong Cheuteal area of Irrawaddy dolphin, Laos' only permanent dolphin population. The excavation of millions of cubic tonnes of rock within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) of this fragile dolphin population  would almost certainly precipitate its disappearance.
The project would also reduce the flows to the Khone Phapheng Falls. An agreed minimum flow would be given first priority. The Falls are important as a tourist activity and the agreed minimum will include the consideration of providing good viewing conditions, noting that the Guidebook for Tourism published by Dept of Geology-Mines Lao PDR identifies that the Falls look most impressive under lower dry season flows.
The Thakho Project is another proposed hydroelectric proposal sited nearby to Don Sahong within the Siphandone. The Thakho and Don Sahong projects are economically incompatible due to competition for the same water resources . Thakho has been promoted as more sustainable than Don Sahong as it does not block a river channel, however would produce less electricity. Feasibility and EIA processes have been completed for both proposals, but the government of Laos is yet to agree to either proposal.
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- "IJM to undertake Laos hydropower project with MFCB". The Egde Daily. Intellasia News Services. 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Ben Shane Lim (May 22, 2012). "Mega First gets nod for Laos dam". The Edge Financial Daily. Archived from the original on 2012-06-13. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- Nette, Andrew (2008-03-28). "Opting For The Big Dam". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Baird, Ian G. (2011). "The Don Sahong Dam: Potential Impacts on Regional Fish Migrations, Livelihoods, and Human Health". Critical Asia Studies (Taylor & Francis) 43 (2): 211–235. doi:10.1080/14672715.2011.570567. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- Baran, Eric; Ratner, Blake (June 2007). "The Don Sahong dam and Mekong Fisheries" (PDF). World Fish Center. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- "Don Sahong Hydropower Development Final Feasibility Study - Engineering: Volume 1 - Report". Mega First Corporation Berhad. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- "The Don Sahong hydroelectricitc project, Lao PDR: Feasibility Study Report, Volume 1 - Report". Mega First Corporation Berhad. October 2007. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- Bezuijen, Mark R.; Zanre, Richard; Goichot, Marc (June 2007) (PDF). The Don Sahong dam and the Irrawaddy dolphin (Report). WWF. http://www.livingriversiam.org/mk/don-sahong-dolphin.pdf. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- Ryan, Gerard E. (September 2012) (PDF). Last chance for dolphins in Laos: A review of the history, threats, and status (Report). WWF. http://awsassets.panda.org/downloads/last_chance_for_laos__dolphins.pdf. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
- Duchense, L. (29 August 2011) (PDF). THAKHO Hydropower and Tourism Development Project Feasibility Study – Final Report (2nd phase) (Report). Electricite_du_Laos and Compagnie Nationale du Rhone. http://thakhosustainablehydro.com/images/pdf/Final%20FS_Report_Phase2_29August2011.pdf. Retrieved 2013-01-08.