Vientiane - Construction of the controversial Xayaburi Hydro-power plant, the first dam on the lower stretch of the Mekong River, is now 23 per cent complete, Lao media reports said Thursday.
The 3.5-billion-dollar dam and power plant in Xayaburi province is "on track to be operational in 2019 as planned," the Vientiane Times reported.
Xayaburi Power Company Limited's deputy managing director gave US ambassador to Laos Daniel Clune a tour of the project this week, a state-run daily said.
The ambassador also visited the resettlement site under construction for the inhabitants of 15 villages displaced by the project.
The dam has been strongly opposed by environmentalists and neighbouring countries concerned about its potential impact on ther iver's fisheries.
Clune reportedly said the project would benefit the Lao people in the future as long as it was able to minimize downstream effects.