The Laotian Times rounds up the top five biggest news stories of the week. Here are the top five:
Foreign ministers from ASEAN Member States and China gathered in Vientiane yesterday to discuss the latest updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The 10-nation bloc decided to convene an emergency meeting, hosted by Laos, to share vital information between the countries and China on how to coordinate regional efforts to contain the outbreak.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi were present in Vientiane to discuss how nations could work more intimately to fight against the coronavirus epidemic.
Amid an ongoing drought and low water levels, the state of the Mekong River is a topic that is animating discussion along the watercourse, with sights often aimed squarely at the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Plant.
To help clear the waters, the project owners invited regional media for a site visit.
Several months ago, the Xayaburi HPP was partly blamed for the low levels of water downstream by officials in Thailand, a claim denied by the dam’s operators.
Due to the fact that Xayaburi HPP employs a run-of-river type installation, this necessarily invalidates the claim that the dam is storing water, which would lead to low water levels.
Xayaburi HPP’s senior management cites robust historical data to support the claim that water inflow is expected to reach average levels in the Mekong during this year’s rainy season, beginning in May 2020.
A signing ceremony was held on Thursday for the development of a floating solar power plant on the surface of the Nam Ngum 1 dam reservoir.
The Floating Solar Power Project at Nam Ngum 1 will be a public-private partnership, with the Government of Laos holding a 20% share, while the private sector will hold 80% over a 25-year concession.
The solar project at Nam Ngum 1 is to have an installed capacity of 1,200 MW, covering an area of over 1,500 hectares, making it potentially the world’s largest project upon completion.
Electricity generation will not be sufficient to supply all areas in Laos during times of peak consumption from March to June, according to authorities, who are urging the public to cut energy usage during this period.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines has announced that less power can be generated while reservoirs are only half full
Accordingly, the ministry is warning the public and businesses that it will be necessary to conserve electricity and minimize use during the peak season.
The Vientiane People’s Court has sentenced a former director of Lao Logistics State Enterprise to life imprisonment on charges of corruption.
Director of the Lao Logistics State Enterprise, (LLSE), Mr. Khampheng, was found guilty of abusing his position in the form of embezzlement and bribery, according to an article in the Lao Security News.