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Company insists dam built in accordance with international standard

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Pcl has defended its construction of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam in Attapeu province of Laos as being in compliance with international standard, but the fracture and eventual collapse of the saddle dam which is part of the main dam was due to heavy rains, according to Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan.

The company, he said, has declined to speculate on the potential impacts from the incident to its investment in Laos, saying that its priority now is to provide help to those affected by flooding.

After the incident, the minister said the company had rushed to help the affected people and evacuated several of them to higher ground.

He went on saying that the incident would not hamper Thailand's demand for electricity because it has adequate power reserves of up to five years.

Based on dam-break flow simulation model, Assistant Professor Somporn Chuey-aree of Prince of Songkhla University estimated that it would take at least 20 days for flood water caused by the collapse of Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam to recede to normal.

He suggested the Lao government to evacuate the affected people out of the flood-ravaged area because it would take several more days before the situation would return to normal.

About 600 million cubic metres of water have flowed out of the fractured saddle dam.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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