Downstream of the proposed Nam Ngiep 1 Dam, villagers rely on the Nam Ngiep for their livelihoods

Nam Ngiep 1

“We have lived in this place for more than thirty years, we have worked on the land, we don’t want to leave the land now. There is no way the compensation offered to us by the company can replace the livelihood we have.” - Group of villagers living in area planned to be inundated by the reservoir


The 290 MW Nam Ngiep 1 Dam is being built upstream from the central Lao town of Pakxan, in the provinces of Bolikhamxay and Xaysomboun. More than 3000 people, who are primarily Hmong and Khmu, will be forced to resettle. However, many of the affected families living in the area that will be inundated by the reservoir do not consider the land available at the resettlement site or the compensation being offered for their land or assets as adequate. Upstream and downstream of the project site, villagers say they have not yet had access to clear, understandable information about the pending impacts and what plans are in place to mitigate these impacts.

The Nam Ngiep Power Company (NN1PC) is a consortium comprised of Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Company (45%), Thailand’s EGAT International Company (30%) and the Lao Holding State Enterprise (25%). Over 90% of the electricity to be generated will be for export to Thailand. Road construction for the dam site and logging at the site of the reservoir has begun, even though the environmental impact assessment and resettlement action plan are still being finalized. Pending financing, the dam is planned to be completed by 2018. The main storage dam will be 148m high, which will make it the highest dam in the country, and will have a 67km2 reservoir.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a US $216 million private sector loan for the company (Project 41924-014) despite clear violations of their safeguard provisions on the environment, involuntary resettlement and Indigenous People. Japan's Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has also confirmed project financing equivalent to US $197 million.

International Rivers is monitoring the development of the project and calling for compliance with international industry standards outlined by the World Commission on Dams, and as well as all social and environmental standards outlined by the ADB's safeguard policy. Download more information here: Project Concerns for Nam Ngiep 1