P2252871The Theun-Hinboun Power Company has shown its support for public blood donation, handing over 300 T-shirts to the Lao Red Cross in Vientiane in late February. The T-shirts will be given to blood donors to thank them for their valuable contributions and to encourage others to give blood.

The Khammouane branch of the Red Cross requested the shirts after helping THPC organise a blood donation session at the company’s hydropower plant in November last year. Company staff, senior students from the THPC school and members of the public came to the plant in Khounkham district to give blood.

Dr Sing Menorath, the Vice-President of the Lao Red Cross, thanked THPC for its support and said he hoped the company would continue building links with the Red Cross, especially in its mission to increase blood donation in the country.


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In late December staff from the Theun-Hinboun Power Company Head Office travelled to Ban Houaythom in Sangthong District, Vientiane Province, to give educational materials to the children at this rural primary school.

More than 100 children at the school received textbooks donated by THPC, with sports equipment and games for pre-school children also handed over.

Head Office staff gave the children a short talk on THPC and its business before handing over the materials. The staff then shared drinks and snacks with the kids before enjoying some fun and games in the school yard.

THPC has long been committed to suppoorting educational development in Laos. The Company funds a successful private school at its main compound in Khounkham, making the school open and free to local children, and has also built new schools in resettlement and relocation schools around Bolikhamxay and Khammouane provinces. THPC has provided university scholarships to promising students from its project area, but is also looking to extend its support to children in other parts of Laos, including through funding to the Educational Development Fund for Laos. 

The school at Houaythom village was selected as being in need of extra supplies after consultation with the education authorities, and the THPC team was happy to make the long drive to Sangthong and meet the delighted pupils and staff at the school.  

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Vientiane, the capital city of the Lao PDR, hosted the 32nd meeting of energy ministers for Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) on September 23-24. THPC was proud to support the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines in organising the meeting, known as AMEM 32. In total, THPC donated US$21,000 towards this successful event.

Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong opened the meeting on September 23, emphasising the importance of energy cooperation and power integration in Asean, and the potential of hydropower as a clean, non-polluting and renewable energy source.AMEMsmall

Over the two days the Asean members and their cooperation partners reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation in the areas of energy security, oil and natural gas markets, renewable energy, and better energy efficiency and conservation.

Laos was recognised during the meeting as a leader in regional cooperation and interconnections for exported electricity. The country already has 23 interconnections with Thailand, seven for the power trade with Vietnam, four with China and two with Cambodia. At the side of the meeting Laos also held discussions with Singapore for an arrangement to supply 100 MW of power to the island state through the grids of Thailand and Malaysia.

Another initiative under discussion was the possibility of a grid-to-grid power purchase agreement with Thailand to bring about greater reliability with lower costs and improve Laos's ability to sell excess energy and capacity during the rainy season.

The Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines also agreed to set up an energy cooperation working group with Vietnam to promote connections between the two countries.


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Vientiane, December 9, 2014

The Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) has appointed a panel of experts to assess the performance of its social and environmental programs. Three experts with long experience of analysing the effects of hydropower projects will begin auditing the Company’s performance in February 2015. The panel, or POE, will continue surveying the situation in the villages and natural environment around the Theun-Hinboun plant until at least late 2018.

THPC’s license agreement with the Lao government, signed in 2007 at the beginning of the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project, details a range of obligations that the Company must meet in order to demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of villagers affected by the plant and to protecting the environment.

The three members of the POE have been selected to combine a range of complementary attributes and so form a balanced panel that can accurately assess THPC’s progress in reaching its targets. The panel’s leader is Dr Helen Locher, who has 25 years of experience in environmental and social sustainability work and is a qualified auditor and assessor of hydropower projects.

Associate Professor Souphab Khouangvichit, of the National University of Laos’s Faculty of Environmental Sciences, has been analysing the social and environmental implications of development and industrial projects in Laos for over 20 years, including advising on livelihood adaptation among resettled communities.

Completing the team is Francois Obein, who has been working in environmental and social positions in Southeast Asia since 1993. Mr Obein has been involved with major hydropower projects in Laos and led environmental and social panels of experts for hydropower projects in Africa.

The Theun-Hinboun POE is responsible for auditing the attainment of income targets in each project-area village, and for affirming that all THPC’s social entitlements and environmental obligations have been met.

From the beginning of the expansion project until the end of 2013, THPC spent around US$60 million on a broad range of initiatives designed to share the benefits of the project with local people and to minimize disruption to local ecologies. For those people most affected, the Company has built improved housing and public facilities such as clinics, schools, roads, electricity and water supply. THPC also offers livelihood programs to help people improve agricultural and business opportunities plus social assistance including nutritional and sanitation components.

At the beginning of 2014, the Company approved an additional US$50 million of funding for social and environmental programs to be implemented over the following five years.

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Vientiane Times August 4, 2014

The Lao government has identified payments for environmental services as a way to achieve environmental management goals and improve smallholder livelihoods. It is recognised that villagers in Laos need some financial incentive and long term interest in the preservation of biodiversity if they are to be recruited to participate in conservation efforts.

However the issue now for policy makers is how they can be rewarded financially for not degrading forests or ecosystems through inappropriate harvesting of trees or forest products or the illegal hunting off wildlife. In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a Payments for Environmental Services (PES) scheme in Borikhamxay province was signed recently between the project ‘Effective Implementation of Payments for Environmental Services in the Lao PDR'and the Provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The MOU was signed in Borikhamxay province between the project leader Mr Khamphan Nanthavong from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MONRE) and the Director of the Provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment Mr Khampasong Vongtana. The event was also attended by Deputy GVT Bolikhamxay villagersovernor of Borikhamxay province Ms Bounnhong Sisouvannakhone as well as representatives from the Environment Protection Fund (EPF), the Forestry Department within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), project team members and other government officials.

The project coordinator, Associate Professor Phouphet Kyophilavong from the National University of Laos, said that the overall project aim was to develop PES policy options for the Lao government. PES schemes aimed to increase the amount and quality of environmental services. This is achieved by establishing and sustaining a financial link between those with a demand for environmental services and those who have the potential to supply them.

PES schemes provide financial benefits to smallholders who improve environmental conditions through changing their land use practices. The payment for villagers will be funded by Theun-Hinboun Power Company though the Environment Protection Fund (EPF).

The payments are expected to commence next year but the officials and advisors concerned have yet to determine exactly how the payments will be calculated or how they will be divided up amongst local communities. However if the pilot project in Borikhamxay proves to be successful it will be proposed to the government for upgrading the scheme into national policy and rolling it out nationwide.

The research activities are being funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research within the Australian government and undertaken by MONRE, MAF, the National University of Laos, the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Western Australia (UWA).

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