Tag Archives: stop

No Stop To Rising Fuel Prices in Laos

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has announced a fuel price increase across the country to match the rise in fuel prices on the world market, to take effect from yesterday.

This is the second fuel price hike this month, with the first occurring on December 15.

In Vientiane the cost of premium grade petrol has increased to 8,620 kip per litre, regular petrol is now 7,620 kip a litre, and diesel is 6,660 kip a litre.

In Phongsaly province, the price of regular petrol is now 8,350 kip a litre, while diesel has increased to 7,390 kip.

In Luang Namtha province, the price of regular petrol has increased to 7,980 kip with diesel increasing to 7,020 kip.

In Oudomxay province, regular petrol will now cost motorists 8,070 kip a litre and diesel 7,110 kip a litre.

In Bokeo province, the cost of premium grade petrol is now 8,720 kip, while regular petrol is 7,720 kip, and diesel 6,760 kip a litre.

In Luang Prabang province, the cost of premium grade petrol has increased to 9,080 kip a litre, regular petrol is now 8,080 kip, and diesel has increased to 7,120 kip a litre.

In Huaphan and Xayaboury provinces, the price of regular petrol is now 8,020 kip while diesel has jumped to 7,060 kip a litre.

In Xieng Khuang province, the price of regular petrol has increased to 7,810 kip with diesel now costing 6,850 kip a litre.

In Vientiane province, the pump price of premium grade petrol is now 8,620 kip a litre, while regular is 7,620 kip, and diesel 6,660 kip a litre.

In Borikhamxay province, the price of petrol has increased to 7,740 kip and diesel is now 6,780 kip a litre.

In Khammuan and Savannakhet provinces, the cost of a litre of premium grade petrol has jumped to 8,650 kip, while regular petrol is now 7,650 kip, and diesel is 6,690 kip a litre.

In Saravan province, regular petrol is now 7,830 kip a litre with diesel costing 6,870 kip.

In Champassak province, the price of premium is 8,680 kip a litre, regular petrol is 7,680 kip, and diesel 6,720 kip a litre.

In Xekong, Attapeu, and Xaysomboun provinces, the price of regular petrol has increased to 7,860 kip a litre and diesel now costs 6,900 kip a litre.

Source: Vientiane Times

Lao News Agency to Stop Print Edition of English Paper

The Lao News Agency has announced that the last issue of its English language newspaper will roll off the presses on December 31, ending more than 10 years of publication of the daily KPL News.

But the newspaper will not disappear as readers can go online for their daily news instead of reading the printed version.

The Editorial Board of the state-owned newspaper issued a notice informing readers, subscribers and advertisers that it will cease publication of the newspaper from January 1 onwards.

Director General of the Lao News Agency, Sounthone Khanthavong, said the newspaper was no longer profitable so they had decided to cut costs and dispense with the printed edition.

He said an online version would be more convenient for readers and pointed to the growing trend in online reading.

We decided to switch to an online service as it’s more modern, he told Vientiane Times .

The decision to end the print edition of KPL News means the Vientiane Times, another daily English language newspaper published by Lao Press in Foreign Languages, will be the only English language newspaper in the country.

A member of the KPL News’ Editorial Board, Sengthong Prasavath, said the online news service would be free of charge.

Established in 1968, the Lao News Agency published daily bulletins in Lao, English and French. Some years later it upgraded the bulletins into daily newspapers, also published in Lao and English, Mr Sounthone said.

In 2003, the English bulletin became a daily newspaper and was also published in French. Last year, the print version of the French newspaper ceased and the content was published online.

Mr Sounthone confirmed that the Lao News Agency would continue to publish its Lao language newspaper, the Pathetlao Daily.

The Lao News Agency delivers news via the Pathetlao Daily, news releases, a magazine, online news, and a short message service (SMS) on mobile phones.

Many printed newspapers and magazines both in Laos and abroad have suffered a decline in circulation as readers turn their attention to social and online media.

A few years ago, Laos’ weekly French language magazine Le Renovateur published by the Lao Press in Foreign Languages ceased to exist in its printed form and has since been published online after suffering a decline in readership and profits.

Earlier this year, the Brunei Darussalam broadsheet, the Brunei Times, announced its closure 10 years after its inception in 2006. The publishers cited reporting and journalistic standards as well as business issues as reasons for its termination, especially in the face of considerable challenges from alternative forms of media.


Source: Vientiane Times

Banana Farms Ordered to Stop

Oudomxay province: — Chinese farms in Laos’ provinces have been suspended due to their ongoing use of hazardous chemicals which are having negative impacts on people’s health and the environment.

The Prime Minister’s Office’s ordered the farms which are preparing to cultivate banana trees to cease their efforts while thousands of hectares of banana plantations which have already planted the trees will not be allowed to plant any more suckers after harvesting their crops.

Director of the Oudomxay provincial Planting and Investment Department, Mr Onkeo Ounralom, told the press on Friday that banana farms in the country’s provinces have been found to be using hazardous chemicals after checks by state and international agencies.

Mr Onkeo said it’s regrettable that the reports did not mention which provinces in the country used the chemicals, only stating that banana plantations in the north of the country were at fault.

“We will halt the banana plantations but we don’t want to lose these Chinese investors from the country; in Oudomxay we will plant other clean crops instead,” he said.

The northern provinces of Bokeo, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Phongsaly mainly grow bananas for export to China.

Mr Onkeo added that there are about 6,000 hactares of banana trees from 23 companies in Oudomxay.

It’s not only northern Laos which has Chinese banana farms, but also hundred of hectares in Vientiane province and the capital.

An official from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mr Phoukham Louangsouphon, said that the Prime Minister’s Office has ordered a halt to all commercial banana plantations.

Oudomxay and Luang Namtha provinces are the major centres for banana plantations in the country, he said.

According to a National Assembly report in October, some provinces were using too many insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilisers, but said this matter did not feature in reports submitted to the Assembly.

Some people became ill and some had allegedly died after spraying pesticides on farms, but the reports did not say where this had occurred.

There have been no bananas from Chinese farms in the provinces for sale in local markets as the farms send all their fruit straight to China. These bananas are packed in cardboard boxes for immediate export to China after they are harvested.


Source: Vientiane Times

Laos Orders Factory to Stop Recycling Spent Beer Malt Over Pollution Concerns

The Lao government ordered a factory in the capital Vientiane that recycles 80 tons of spent beer malt a day to shut down after its owners failed to control pollution from the process, RFA’s Lao Service has learned.

“We have suffered from the bad smell for over a year since the factory started operations,” Doung village chief Sinakhone Khottaphome told RFA’s Lao Service.

“The leftover malt is left in the yard, not kept in the safe warehouses,” he added. “So when the rain comes it flows into the fields and pollutes the water.”

The factory in the Saysettha district’s Doung village recycles spent brewer’s malt from the Lao Brewing Company breweries and exports the used grains to Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Foods, where it is turned into animal feed.

Owned by Xaiyadeth Vongxay, the Lao factory began operations in May 2015, and has been the subject of many complaints and several provincial shutdown orders.

Xaiyadeth Vongxay is the son of Kissana Vongxay, the chairman of the Lao Brewery Company that brews the popular Beerlao and other beverages.

Ownership of the company is split between the Lao government and the Carlsberg brewing giant. It claims a 99 percent share of the Lao beer market.

While recycling spent beer malt is generally considered an environmentally sustainable practice, it also creates pollution on its own.

Spent beer malt is wet when it comes out of the brewing process and it can spoil rapidly causing both a horrible stench and water pollution, while smoke emerging from dryer stacks causes odor pollution problems.

“The factory releases stinking smoke from burning coals in the production, and that seriously troubles the villagers,” Sinakhone Khottaphome said.  “If the factory is still here, villagers cannot live.”

Illegally built and poorly operated

Problems with the Lao spent beer grain facility go beyond the just the process, as regulators in the country found the factory was built illegally and is operated without the proper environmental and business licenses.

On Oct. 5, the Ministry of Natural Resources department of pollution control issued a notice confirming that the factory is located in the wrong place because it is too close to the nearby community.

The factory’s owners have also ignored repeated orders to clean up their act.

On July 29, the Vientiane Administration Office ordered the factory to stop operations, and on September 9, Vientiane’s Industrial and Commerce Department also ordered the factory to cease operations. The Saysettha governor’s office also issued a stop order on Sept. 30.

All were ignored by the factory’s owners.

While the more than 300 families affected by the factory hope the latest stop order is more effective, Sinakhone Khottaphome said a truck delivered more spent beer malt to the factory on Oct. 12 but had yet to process it.

“During this time, the factory stopped production after Mr. Chaleun Yiapaoher came to order the shut-down on Oct. 11, but the villagers are now keeping a close eye on it,” he said. “Yesterday [Oct. 12] villagers saw a truck transporting the leftover malt to the factory, but production did not start up, yet.”

Beer grain glut

Regulation of spent beer grains is controversial worldwide. Breweries in the U.S. and the U.K., where environmental regulations are more robust, have been fined or installed controls to maintain air quality. World brewer’s grain production worldwide is thought to be in the range of 35-40 million tons.

In one California case, the craft brewery Firestone Walker Brewing Co. installed $1 million worth of pollution controls, even though the California Air Resources Board (CARB) found the air quality acceptable, according to The Tribunein San Louis Obispo, Calif.

While the CARB may have deemed pollution levels there to be acceptable, it also found that the pollution can still cause health effects that include headache, nausea and irritability. At higher concentrations, gas from the process is considered an “irritant,” producing symptoms such as eye irritation, cough and sore throat.

The amount of spent brewers grain varies with the size of the brewery, but it is unlikely that the Firestone Walker Brewing Co. produced anywhere near the amount of spent grain that is processed by the Doung village factory.

Source: RFA