Despite the highly controversial nature of the Hatgyi Dam, which is located in a contested war-zone, Thailand is pushing ahead for it to be the first of the dams built on the Salween River. Although it is the smallest of the five planned dams, there are fears that once built, it will pave the way for the building of the other larger dams.
Burma’s Ministry of Electric Power, Thailand’s Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), and China’s Sinohydro signed an agreement in 2006 for the joint implementation of the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween River in Karen State.
Height: 33 meters
Installed capacity: 1,360 MW (Last updated: Jan 2015)
Annual production: 7,325 Gwh (Last updated: Sept 2014)
Location :Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. 29 miles downstream from the confluence of the Salween and Moei rivers.
The state-run Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
Other possible Chinese
China Southern Power Grid Co.
China Three Gorges Project Corporation
The estimated cost of building the Hatgyi Dam is 1 billion USD.
Cost : US$1 billion (Last updated: Jan 2015)
Income generated from the sale of electricity will depend on the annual production and the buying price. A power purchase agreement has yet to be signed for any of the dams.
Electricity – where will it go?
Most of the electricity from the Hatgyi Dam is intended for sale to Thailand.
Sale of Electricity: 90% of electricity to be sold to Thailand (Last updated: Jan 2015)
(Some reports claim all electricity will be sold to Thailand)
Project Status - Last updated September 2008
Survey work on the Hatgyi Dam was suspended in September 2007 after a second EGAT worker was killed due to the violent conflict around the site. However, during 2008, EGAT has resumed survey activities in Karen State, and has been conducting PR activities promoting the dam with affected villagers on both sides of the border. EGAT has announced that energy from the dam will be fed into the Thai power grid by 2019.
Expected Completion : 2016, but clearly delayed (Last updated: Jan 2015)
Dozens of Karen villages will be directly impacted and/or relocated from the dam’s floodplain. Thousands more will suffer abuses from the Burma Army’s attempts to secure the site, which have resulted in several military offensives and a large build up of soldiers in the area. This will likely result in a greater influx of refugees to Thailand. Renewed offensives since late 2005 have already resulted in further displacement of tens of thousands of Karen villagers, many of whom have fled to the Thai border.
All of the dams planned on the Salween River will greatly disrupt the riverine ecosystem and destroy the livelihoods of those peoples living along the river. Large areas of land, used by many ethnic peoples for traditional farming and medicines, will be flooded. Those living along the river will be forcibly relocated, likely without compensation. Further, large development projects in Burma bring an expanded Burma Army presence and the increased use of forced labor. Villagers living downstream from the dams will also face difficulties. Alterations in river flows will affect disrupt downstream estuaries, which will harm the agricultural and fishing practices of villagers who depend on those estuaries.
Destroying Biodiversity (Last updated: Jan 2015)
Threatening Local Communities
At least 13 ethnicities are belong on the Salween river bank by relying their daily livelihood by using the river. Because of the Kunloung, NoungHpa and MongTong(Tasang) dams project in Shan State the ethnic people around there were have been forced to move from their village when the Burmese military troop shelling and fighting to ethnic armed group. In Kayinni State one of the small Yintalae ethnic group left 1000 people also were living under threating by the Ywathit Dam project. There are Karen armed groups in Karen State were not accepted the HatGyi Dam project have been fighting with the Burmese military troop which made local villagers fear and create more IDP.
For more information please see the report Damming at Gunpoint
For more information and updated news about the Salween Dams, please visit www.salweenwatch.org
For information and updated news about the impacts of the Hatgyi Dam in Thailand, please visit www.livingriversiam.org
Conducted by Chula Unisearch, Chulalongkorn University (Last updated: Jan 2015)
Investors Burma’s Ministry of Electric Power;
Electric Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT);
International Group of Entrepreneurs (IGE) Company; and