Thailand and Myanmar plan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday to jointly invest in the construction of hydroelectric power plants on the Salween river.
State-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand will sign the MoU with Myanmar’s Electricity Authority, in a ceremony to be witnessed by the energy ministers of the two countries – Thailand’s Viset Choopiban and Myanmar’s Lun Thi.
A series of five dams is planned for the 2400km river which, when finished, should yield 10,000MW. The first structure is the be the 1200MW Hat Gyi dam at Haygui, near Mae Sot on the Thai-Myanmar border, which will take an estimated six years to complete.
The Salween project has been delayed for more than a decade following resistance from environmental groups, who have described the project as a high-risk investment, warning that diverting the Salween river will poses a threat to the livelihoods of people living both within Myanmar’s Karen State and in Thailand.