International dam body confirms efforts of China Power Investment to advance Myitsone project

Press release

Kachin Development Networking Group

1 June  2012aung


International dam body confirms efforts of China Power Investment to advance Myitsone project

A statement by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) issued on 30th May confirms that the builders of the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam in Burma have directly asked international dam experts to assess the project.

It was previously reported in Chinese media that ICOLD itself was conducting a review of the Myitsone project to prove that it was beneficial and safe. The dam was suspended by Burma’s government in September last year after public outcry over its negative economic, social and environmental impacts.

In the statement, ICOLD denied direct involvement in conducting an evaluation of the Myitsone project but admitted that China Power Investment, the main builder of the dam, is going ahead with an assessment.

Since the suspension CPI has continued to lobby for the project and has not withdrawn equipment and personnel from the site, Burma’s government has not allowed relocated villagers to return home and they remain uncertain about the project’s status.

“CPI is making a mockery of the dam suspension” said Seng Mai of the Kachin Development Networking Group. “They’ve refused to pull out of the dam site and now they’re bringing in global dam technocrats to challenge the suspension.”

CPI is the project implementer for a series of seven dams on the Irrawaddy and its tributaries in war torn Kachin State to sell electricity to China.

ICOLD is made up of 95 national committees which include hydropower companies.  Burma is currently applying for membership in the ICOLD. The current president of ICOLD is Dr. Jinsheng JIA from China who is also the Vice-President of China’s Commission on Large Dams (CHINCOLD). CPI is a member of CHINCOLD; CPI’s Deputy General Manager (Mr. Yong TIAN) is a Vice-President of CHINCOLD’s board and two other CPI staff (Mr. Qi WANG and Mr. Donglai JIN) also serve on the CHINCOLD board.


Contact: Seng Mai (+66 823913325)

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