Tamanthi Dam

Burma’s government singed an MOU with India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) in 2004 for the development of the Tamanthi Dam on the Chindwin River in western Sagaing Division. A new agreement between NHPC and the Hydroelectric Power Department was signed on September 16, 2008. Under the agreement, the Department of Hydropower Implementation (DHPI) will form a joint venture with NHPC to develop the Tamanthi and Shwesayay dams.

Dam Specifications
Height: 80 meters
Installed capacity: 1,200 MW
Annual production: 6,685 Gwh

Companies Involved
National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC)
Colenco Power Engineering, Ltd.

The estimated cost of the Tamanthi Dam is US$ 3 billion.

Electricity – where will it go?
An estimated 80% of the electricity will go to India. Electricity in Burma is reportedly slated to power the Monywa mining operation.

Project Status - Last updated - November 2008
Construction at the dam site began in 2007. A detailed project report (master plan) is being prepared by NHPC.

The Tamanthi Dam is expected to displace 30,000 people in Sagaing Division, including more than 35 Kuki villages, and flood approximately 17,000 acres of fertile farmland. In late 2007, approximately 380 households were forcibly relocated from Leivomjang and Tazong villages, which are located between Tamanthi and Homalin in Sagaing Division. The villagers were instructed to move to a relocation site named “ShwePyiAye Village” (after Generals Than Shwe and Maung Aye). The site has no fertile farmland and many villagers are trying to flee. Since construction activities began, increased Burma Army abuses have been reported near the Tamanthi site.

More than six percent of the Tamanthi Wildlife sanctuary will be inundated by the dam, including the vital habitats of globally endangered large mammals like tiger Panthera tigris, elephant Elephus maximus, and the endemic Myanmar’s Roofed Turtle Kachuga travittata will be lost forever as no other site is for this species is currently known.

An EIA was commissioned by the Burmese government, but the assessment team reports that it is incomplete because they were not given enough time. Nevertheless, they documented 332 species of birds, 59 species of mammals, 333 species of insects, 57 species of reptiles, 67 species of fish, and 526 species of plants, some of which are critically endangered in the dam’s flood area. The Myanmar Roof Turtle could become globally extinct after the construction of the dam. The assessment team advised mitigation measures for critical species.

For more information, please visit the website of the Anti-Tamanthi Dam Committee

Some information in this profile is from Birdlife International’s newsletter at www.birdlifeindochina.org

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