Pump contact let for Xayaburi dam

Xylem Inc, the water company whose equipment cleared New York tunnels after Hurricane Sandy in the US, won a customized-pumps contract for a controversial Mekong River hydropower dam under construction that will help provide electricity to 4 million people in Laos and Thailand.

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Flygt pumps for the $3.5 billion Xayaburi run-of-river hydro project will allow fish migration through and around the dam between the upper and lower Mekong for about 200 species to aid in spawning and to mitigate ecological impacts, the Rye Brook, New York-based Xylem said in a statement.

Construction on the Laos dam - whose design includes fish-passing facilities - began two years ago, with operations expected to start in 2019. The pump contract is worth almost $20 million, Xylem said.

Laos's 11 Mekong dam projects have raised concern about disturbance of fish migration as well as the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of fishermen. Laos went ahead with the much bigger Xayaburi dam despite opposition from Vietnam and Cambodia. Xayaburi is now almost 40 percent finished.

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