Friday, 09 November 2012 12:09

Pöyry supervises the construction of the Xayaburi hydropower project as Government of Lao Engineer

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Pöyry's Energy Business Group has been awarded a technical consultancy services assignment for the Xayaburi hydro power plant project in Lao PDR. Pöyry works as the Government of Lao Engineer in the project. Pöyry will support the Government of Lao and the project owner Xayaburi Power Company Limited during the 8-year implementation period by reviewing the design and supervising the construction of the project. The parties have agreed not to disclose the value of the assignment. The project will be included in Pöyry's fourth quarter 2012 order stock.


The project is a state-of-the-art run-of-river plant, with no large reservoir. The installed capacity of 1,285 MW is generated by 8 Kaplan turbines. The design includes multiple fish passages, fish-friendly turbines, low level outlet gates for sediment flushing and navigation locks for shipping to minimise possible adverse environmental and social effects of the plant. The energy production of the plant is sufficient to provide clean electricity to nearly 1 million people in Lao PDR and 3 million people in Thailand.

In 2011 Pöyry acted as a technical consultant to the Government of Lao preparing a technical comparison between the original Xayaburi hydropower project design and the recommendations of the Mekong River Commission. In that technical comparison, Pöyry made several specific recommendations to improve the sustainability of the scheme including additional environmental studies, installation of additional fish ladders and other measures to improve fish migration as well as technical design modifications to improve the sediment and nutrients handling. After this, Pöyry has worked as the Government of Lao Engineer during the development of the project to oversee the implementation of the proposed recommendations. The Government of Lao and Xayaburi Power Company Limited have confirmed that the recommendations made by Pöyry will be incorporated in the project design.

"Large infrastructure projects such as hydropower plants raise a variety of sustainability related questions among stakeholders. However, the Xayaburi hydropower plant, as an example, will provide CO2-free renewable energy for about 4 million people in South East Asia. The lifespan of a run-off river power plant can reach up to 100 years and during this period it will provide affordable clean renewable energy to Lao PDR and Thailand, replacing fossil fuels, improving reliability of power supply and helping to advance Lao PDR out of the "Least Developed" category of nations. Through this assignment Pöyry is committed to monitor the construction of the hydropower plant and its compliance with the Mekong River Commission guidelines, including the proposed technical design improvements and additional studies. I believe that by first reviewing the project's technical design and now overseeing the project implementation we can actively and positively contribute in careful implementation of the first hydro power project in the lower Mekong river", says Ari Asikainen, President, Energy business group.

The project is available on

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