Nam Theun 2 Spills Water in Preparation for Super Typhoon Usagi

On 20 September 2013 at 1pm, the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) began
releasing water from its reservoir in anticipation of possible heavy rainfall from Super
Typhoon Usagi. NTPC releases water to lower the reservoir level in an attempt to help to
dampen the effects of the typhoon and lessen the impacts of possible flooding in the
local communities downstream of the dam. This Typhoon is currently in the Western
Pacific Ocean approaching the Philippines and may impact central Laos. The storm is
forecast to bring heavy rains and strong winds.
In accordance with the Water Release Communication System established between the
Lao Government and NTPC, NTPC has already began notifying District officials in
accordance with the Government Disaster Management Office guidelines of the water
releases. District officials have notified people living in low-lying areas downstream of
the Nakai Dam to be prepared to evacuate to higher ground if there is any risk of
flooding. Both NTPC and Government officials are in regular contact and monitoring the
NTPC’s contractual arrangements with the Lao Government and with its customers EDL
and EGAT, require NTPC to manage the reservoir at or close to full supply level, whilst
taking into account hydro-safety and security of the dam, and the safety of the people
who live around or downstream of the Project area.
The amount of water released will depend on the timing and severity of the weather
event and reservoir conditions. When the reservoir is full, the amount of water released
is approximately equivalent to the amount of incoming water to the reservoir from
several rivers.