Aerial photo taken on July 17, 2020 shows the construction site of the Nam Theun 1 hydropower project in Borikhamxay Province, Laos. A group of Chinese builders have been working day and night in the vast Lancang-Mekong River Basin with strengthened measures on fighting COVID-19, pressing forward the construction of the China-Laos Railway to forge a thriving Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Economic Development Belt. (Sinohydro 3/Hangout via Xinhua)
by Zhang Jianhua, Chanthaphaphone Mixayboua
VIENTIANE, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- A group of Chinese builders have been working day and night in the vast Lancang-Mekong River Basin with strengthened measures on fighting COVID-19, pressing forward the construction of the China-Laos Railway to forge a thriving Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Economic Development Belt.
The China-Laos Railway is one of the key projects in the economic development belt. Braving the hardship posed by the mountains and forests in northern Laos, the PowerChina Sinohydro Bureau 3 Co., LTD (Sinohydro 3), one of the Chinese engineering companies participating in the construction of the railway, has spared no efforts in the construction.
To prevent the infection of the virus, the project department established an epidemic prevention and control working group to monitor the implementation of the precautious measures, such as purchasing protective materials, disinfecting the construction base twice a day, working out staggered meal times, building isolation dormitories, raising awareness about the epidemic, and providing accommodation for local staff on the construction site, among others.
These effective measures have secured the smooth progress of the construction of the railway. In February, drilling of the Sa Len No. 1 Tunnel and the Dalong No. 1 Tunnel were completed as planned. From March to August, the drilling of the Dalong No. 2 and other three tunnels along the China-Laos railway were also completed on time, laying a solid foundation for the railway to be opened to traffic in 2021.
In Laos' Borikhamxay Province, the construction of the 650-MW Nam Theun 1 Hydropower Plant on a tributary of the Mekong river is progressing in an orderly manner.
The Nam Theun 1 hydropower project is a key project jointly developed by the Lao and Thai governments. The construction of the power plant and related transmission lines are respectively carried out by Sinohydro 3 and China Gezhouba Group.
Jie Xiangyang, the Sinohydro 3 project manager, told Xinhua recently that the project was progressing steadily.
On April 26, the company cast 11,508 cubic meters of roller compacted concrete, breaking its record in Laos. On May 8, 13,792 cubic meters of concrete was cast and its daily casting quantity record in Southeast Asia was updated. On May 21, the company set a new record for casting 15,356 cubic meters of concrete in one day.
The Chinese engineering company, which entered the construction site last December, has carried out hard work to gain the achievements.
In view of the large number of workers returning to Laos from abroad, the Sinohydro 3 coordinated arrangements for personnel entry plans and implemented personnel information tracking for epidemic prevention.
Meanwhile, as the delivery of some equipment from abroad was affected by the epidemic, the company tried its best to coordinate and finally managed to get the equipment by air transport before Laos closed its borders.
In response to a series of lockdown measures in Laos, which caused difficulties in equipment and material supply, the company actively communicated with the project investor and relevant government departments to make sure the construction is carried out smoothly.
In face of the tight project schedule caused by the early setting in of this year's rain season in Laos, the Chinese technical staff conducted a detailed review and improved the construction plan according to the actual situation.
"At the front line of the epidemic prevention and control, we must be on standby around the clock... We should not let our guard down against any emergencies," said Li Xupeng, a safety manager of the Nam Ou 1 Hydropower Plant, which is one of the seven Nam Ou River cascade hydropower plants developed by PowerChina on Mekong's largest tributary in Laos. Enditem