Lao dam: obligations undermined?

21 November 2005

A report by Can and Leader analyses the concession agreement for the Bank-supported Nam Theun 2 dam in Lao PDR (see Update 45), between the country’s government and the Nam Theun 2 Power Company Ltd (NTPC). The 25-year contract could seriously undermine the government’s ability to meet its future obligations under international environmental and human rights law. If the government increases the cost of business by applying fresh law or regulations to the project, it may have to pay heavy financial compensation to private investors. As a result Lao PDR may put off ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights until the end of the concession period.

could seriously undermine the government's ability to meet its future obligations