SK Engineering & Construction (E&C) held an impounding ceremony to fill water after the completion of the Xepian-Seamnoi Hydroelectric Power Plant and Senam Noi Dam in Laos on March 31.
Senam Noi Dam is 74 meters tall, 1.6 kilometers wide and can hold one billion tons of fresh water, which is superior to Xepian and Huweimakchan Dam built together in this project. SK E&C will complete the rest of the dams by the end of April and make the dams impound fresh water by February 2019, the time of starting commercial operation.
"In preparation for unexpected risks in the future, we completed the dam four months ahead of schedule and started to make the dam impound water," said an official of SK E&C. "We laid a strong foundation for the success of hydroelectric power generation in Laos."
In order to fill a dam with water, it is necessary to complete a civil engineering process to construct a dam that stores water for power generation, a spillway structure, and a waterway to a power plant. On March 18, SK E&C finished the construction of a 15.7km waterway connecting the power plant and Senam Noi Dam by completing a tunnel of 11.5km, which was a tough section with a tunneling machine called a TBM (tunnel boring machine). The global contractor finished the job in 671 days since starting digging with a TBM in May 2015. SK E&C dug 17 meters each day.
SK E&C is going to finalize the civil engineering process and plan to concentrate on power generation facilities and power transmission facilities that can transport electricity with the completion of the remaining two dams,.
The Laos Hydropower Project aims to produce and sell electric power by building three-dam dams and power plants -- Huiweimakchan, Xepian and Senam Noi -- to block a Mekong River tributary which dissects Bolaben Plateau and using a free fall which is up to 690 meters. Its power generation capacity is 410MW, which is equivalent to that of Cheongju Dam in Korea which has the largest power generation capacity in Korea. Most of electricity produced at the dams will be sold to Thailand.