|Project Details||The hydropower plants are constructed on the Balu Chaung River, which is a tributary to the Pawn River. Pawn River itself is a tributary of the Salween River. Before the plant was constructed, Balu Chaung river descendent about 670 into deep Pawn River valley, creating spectacular waterfalls . |
The Lawpita hydropower project represents the first and largest run-of-river plant in Myanmar. According to the 2006 KRDN report , the Lawpita hydropower project consists of several components and was constructed as follows:
a) the Mobye dam and reservoir, which diverts water to the hydropower plants. This dam is located at the border of Karenni and Shan state. The reservoir covers approx. 20,700 ha and is mainly located in Shan State. Construction initially started in 1962, was then interrupted due to Burma’s political situation and then restarted in 1966. Laborers came from central Burma. The dam was finished in 1970. About 8,000 people in Pekhon Township (Shan State) were forced to move to make way for the reservoir.
b) the Lawpita (Balu Chaung) Hydropower Plant No. 2, to which water is diverted from the dam. The plant is located at the Lawpita falls, about 40 km east of the dam. It was the first plant to become operational and has six generators that operate on a rotational basis to produce 168 MW. It was constructed over two phases: the first was completed in 1960, and the second in 1974.
c) The Dawtacha dam, a smaller dam located closer to the power plants. It was constructed during 1988-1992.
d) The Lawpita (Balu Chaung) Hydropower Plant No. 1, which received water from the Dawtacha dam. Installed capacity: 28 MW. Construction started in 1986 and finished in 1992.
e) Two high voltage transmission lines with a length of about 400 km each, carrying power to urban centres Yangon and Mandalay.
A third power station was proposed but never constructed.
Nippon Koei and Kajima Corporation were involved in the construction of the project, according to Burma Rivers Network [2, see also Nippon Koei company webpage: 3].
No information on the total investment size could be found.
The completion of the project required the displacement of 12,558 people (4,558 affected by the power plants, and 8,000 affected by the Mobye dam) .
In 2013, Japan decided to renew the support to the controversial hydropower project by providing a 67 million USD aid through JICA. In a Press release, JICA representative stated: "Now that it is the 60th anniversary of Japan-Myanmar diplomatic relations as symbolized by this hydropower station in Kayah State, JICA today renews and reaffirms its commitment to bringing the maximum benefits of our financial and technical assistance to economic and social development of Myanmar and further strengthen mutual ties of the two countries." .
|Project Area (in hectares)||20,700 ha (reservoir size)|
|Level of Investment (in USD)||unknown|
|Type of Population||Rural|
|Potential Affected Population||12,558 people displaced, many more affected through livelihood changes|
|Company Names or State Enterprises||Nippon Koei from Japan|
Kajima Corporation from Japan - developer
|Relevant government actors||Burma's military government|
|International and Financial Institutions||Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (JICA) from Japan|
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from Japan
|Environmental justice organisations and other supporters||Anti-Dam Construction Committee (during the construction)|
Karenni Development Research Group (KDRG) (following completion, to document the consequences of this project)