Foreign dam company defends itself
The Snowy Mountains Engineering Corp (SMEC) has defended its role in drawing up an environmental impact assessment report for a controversial dam in Myanmar that faces strong local resistance SBS reported on 4 August.
The 7,000 megawatt dam on the Salween River in eastern Myanmar is backed by Chinese, Myanmar and Thai companies, and will flood 676 square kilometres of low-lying farmland and forest.
The dam, in eastern Shan State, is being funded by China Three Gorges Corporation and Thailand’s Elec- tricity Generating Authority, and is also known as the Mong Ton Hydropower Project.
Despite strong resistance from local communities, SMEC says it is undertaking the environmental and social impact assessments (EIA/SIA) and adhering to international best practice.
Shan community groups say the dam lies in an area contested by several of the largest ethnic armed groups in Shan State.
Between 20,000 and 300,000 people are expected to be displaced by the project.