Theun-Hinboun Panel of Experts: Follow-Up Concerns

Monday, November 11, 2013

The following letter was signed by a group of organizations expressing concern over the lack of follow-up regarding Theun Hinboun Power Company's commitment to develop an independent panel of experts. The text is below and can be downloaded here: Follow-up Letter to THPC: Panel of Experts.   In response, the Theun Hinboun Power Company provided a brief letter of acknowledgement and disclosed the Terms of Reference for the Panel of Experts. However, the company failed to answer the questions outlined below, and as a result, another follow up letter was issued in May 2014. 

12th November, 2013

Robert Allen Jr., General Manager
Theun-Hinboun Power Company Ltd.
P.O. Box 3382
Vientiane, Lao PDR

 Re:  Follow-up on the Formation of the Panel of Experts for the Theun Hinboun Expansion Project


Dear Mr. Allen,

We are writing to follow up on the formation of the panel of experts for the Theun Hinboun Expansion Project. As explained in our letter to THPC on 23rd August, 2013, we would like to know whether THPC is willing to commit to upholding the principles of best practice developed by the World Commission on Dams (Guideline 22 on Independent Review Panels for Social and Environmental Matters). By committing to these standards, all of which are established practices of corporate responsibility in the hydropower industry, THPC can indicate an intention to establish a panel of experts that has credibility as an independent, transparent body accountable to all stakeholders.

Since THPC has yet to provide answers to the questions outlined in our earlier letter, we respectfully request your attention to those points of clarification and would further like to request an update about the current status of development of the PoE. As the process for selecting experts gets underway, we would like to know whether you will make the panel’s terms of reference (ToR) accessible to the public, and allow civil society and other stakeholders to suggest potential candidates? As per our questions in the previous letter, could you please clarify whether the PoE will have a mandate to continue throughout the project's Concession Agreement and if their reports will be made publicly available in Lao and English languages?

We hope you will take the time to respond to our questions and provide details on your commitments to these matters promptly.  A response can be sent to Tania Lee, International Rivers’ Lao Program Coordinator via e-mail: <> and will be duly circulated to the undersigned organizations. Thank you.


Johan Frijns, Coordinator, BankTrack

Jonas Ådnøy Holmqvist, Director, FIVAS

Tania Lee, Lao Program Coordinator, International Rivers

Lucie Pinson, Private Finance and Coface Campaigner, Les Amis de la Terre France

Cam Walker, National Liaison Officer, Friends of the Earth Australia

Dr. Mark Zirnsak, Director, Justice & International Mission, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Uniting Church in Australia


Mr. Jens Laugen, SED Manager, THPC

Mr. Tore Haga, Senior Vice President, International, Statkraft

Mr. Stephen Sparkes, Vice President, Social and Environmental Management, Statkraft

Mr. Toby Kent, ANZ Bank

Ms. Angelica Ortiz de Haas, FMO

Mr. Bruno Wenn, DEG

Dr. Herbert Baumgartner, DEG

Ms. Odile Conchou, PROPARCO

Ms. Emmanuelle Bru, BNP Paribas

Mr. Laurence Pessez, BNP Paribas

Mr. Patrick Bader, BNP Paribas