According to reports in the Nation, Shinawatra said the dams must go ahead, although they raise concerns about adverse environmental and social impact. He said they were an essential part of the plan by eight Asean members to develop the Asian power grid.

The project, which will see the development of two 5000MW dams on the Salween river along the Thai-Burmese border, has been criticised by non-governmental organisations and Burmese dissidents who say that the projects will affect 10M people living along the river.