Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chinese Push Sesan Dam Talks With Hun Sen

Chinese Push Sesan Dam Talks With Hun Sen
Cambodian Daily, 23 January 2014
By Hul Reaksmey

The chairman of the Chinese company whose subsidiary will construct the
Lower Sesan 2 dam met with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday to inform
him that the dam would be completed in three years' time, Mr. Hun Sen's
assistant said.

Zhang Tingke, vice president of state-owned utility provider China
Huaneng Group, told Mr. Hun Sen that he was in Cambodia to meet with
local partners, including Ang & Associates Lawyer Co. Ltd., owned by
tycoon Kith Meng, to start building the dam, Eang Sophalleth, Mr. Hun
Sen's personal assistant, told reporters after the meeting.

"He [Zhang Tingke] is visiting Cambodia to cooperate with Ang &
Associates Lawyer group to build a hydropower dam and produce
electricity at the Lower Sesan 2," Mr. Sophalleth said.

"He also informed Samdech Prime Minister that this cooperation will push
this the Lower Sesan 2 project forward so that electricity will be
produced in 2017," he said, adding that Mr. Hun Sen welcomed the
company's efforts. "Samdech Prime Minister welcomed China Huaneng Group
and said that Chinese investments rely on the good relationship between
Cambodia and China," Mr. Sophalleth said after the meeting at the Peace
Palace on Wednesday.

Despite environmental concerns by NGOs, Mr. Tingke said that
Hydrolancang International Energy, the subsidiary of Huaneng, would
avoid damaging the environment and people's livelihoods.

However, the $781 million project in Stung Treng province is expected to
displace more than 5,000 residents, impact the livelihoods of more than
100,000 and cause a drop of fish stock by nine percent for the entire
Mekong basin, according to scientists.

(Additional reporting by Denise Hruby)

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