Weigyi Dam

The Weigyi Dam is one of five proposed dam projects on the Salween River. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Burma on December 9, 2005 for the development of the dam, which will provide electricity for Thailand and foreign income for the regime.

Although the project site is located in Papun District, Karen State, just across from Mae Hong Son Province’s Maesariang District in Thailand, it is Karenni (Kayah) State that will bear the major impacts of the Weigyi dam. The dam’s reservoir will flood many of the best low land forests and agriculture lands in the state.


Dam Specifications
Height:     168 meters with a maximum height of water level of 220 meters
Installed capacity: Between 4,540 and 5,600 MW
Annual production: Unknown


Companies Involved
Burmese
State-run Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise
Thai
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
Possible Chinese
Sinohydro Corporation
China Southern Power Grid Company
China Three Gorges Project Corporation


Finance
The estimated cost of the Weigyi Dam is unknown.

Electricity – where will it go?
Most of the electricity from the Weigyi Dam is intended for sale to Thailand.


Project Status - Last updated September 2008
Construction of the dam has not yet begun. However, the Htoo Company, run by Te Za, who has close ties with SPDC Chairman Than Shwe, has been logging teak forests in the expected reservoir area (see Salween Watch Newsletter Volume 1)


Impacts
An estimated 640 square kilometer reservoir will be created by the Weigyi Dam in Karenni State. 28 villages, including the ancient towns of Karenni, Bawlake and Pasaung, will be submerged. Over 30,000 people, including the last remaining 1,000 Yin Ta Lai people, will be displaced from their homeland. An influx of refugees into Thailand can be expected.
 
Livelihoods will be destroyed and eventually the Karenni people will face a big loss of culture, as most historical places will be submerged. The Yin Ta Lai people, whose entire remaining population is just 1,000, will face extinction because of the scattering and livelihoods changes caused by displacement. Furthermore, if the project is implemented as the Lawpita Hydropower Project was, the local people who live around the dam site will face human rights abuses, forced relocation, land confiscation, and landmine casualties. Like Lawpita, the Weigyi dam site is in an active armed conflict zone. Consequences of the dam will cause chronic misery for Karenni people.

For detailed information please see the report Dammed by Burma’s Generals
For more information and updated news about the Salween Dams, please visit www.salweenwatch.org

Voices of the Dammed

Development in Burma

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