Environmental Expert Xekong Mine Mouth Thermal Power

Phonesack Group Co.,Ltd

Unit 15, Sithong Road Pakthang Sikhottabong Vientiane Capital


Schedule 1 – Duties & Job Description

Position Environmental Expert Xekong Mine Mouth Thermal Power

Phonesack Group (PSG) is registered and head quartered in Vientiane, the Capital city of Lao PDR. We are wholly owned Lao companies with multiple sister companies and subsidiaries. Our long history of doing business in Lao PDR has allowed us to diversify into multiple industries and gain expertise in a wide range of fields.  We employ over 2000 employees across all sites with numerous sub-contractors contributing to the overall economic and social development of Lao PDR.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Policy (DNREP) has received the ESIA Report for the Xekong Thermal Power Plant Limited Company (XTPPL). In parallel, the Project Developer has started negotiating the Concession Agreement for the project with the Ministry of Energy and Mines. The Concession Agreement will include a dedicated annex containing the environmental and social obligations of the project (Annex C) as is the practice for other thermal power projects and hydropower projects. DNREP is the competent authority on negotiating environmental and social obligations in concession agreements, and the project developer has met with DNREP to start-up the negotiations.

DNREP and the project developer have agreed that DNREP may contract an experienced technical (environment and social) expert - to be paid by the project developer - to assist DNREP with reviewing certain technically complex environmental aspects of the Annex C Environmental And Social Obligations, and to assist DNREP during negotiations on Annex C, checking or as appropriate proposing technical requirements and standards.

The Xekong Mine Mouth Thermal Power Plant Project:

The Xekong Mine Mouth Thermal Power Plant comprises coal fired power plant and an adjacent open cast coal mine located in Kaleum District, Xekong Province, Lao PDR.

The project was originally designed as a 3 X 300 MW power plant; however, the project is now contemplating expanding the project to comprise a 6 x 300 MW thermal power plant if the coal reserves can be proven to be sufficient to operate the intended expanded project for the duration of the concession agreement. The project is undertaking additional feasibility studies and will prepare an Updated Feasibility Study Report, Updated Prospecting Report and an Updated Exploration Report, which are expected to be completed and provided to the GOL within 2020.

The construction is expected to start in [January 2023] and will have a duration of [33 months]. The concession period is 35 years including the construction phase.

Environmental And Social Obligations – Challenges And Risks

Large-scale mine mouth thermal power plant projects such as the Xekong Mine Mouth Thermal Power Plant Project are considered complex projects that need careful review and examination by technical and legal experts and regulators to ensure that they are properly vetted and to ensure that significant social and environmental problems are identified and properly mitigated and their costs included in the project design.

Responsible investors naturally intend to meet all legal requirements, but they need to do so in a timely and cost-effective manner. To do so, it is of vital importance to investors that the Social and Environmental Standard Obligations (SESO) review process leads to environmental and social obligations and standards that are applicable to their projects, clearly defined, and relevant and achievable. Investors often fear that unreasonable obligations will be imposed by government, perhaps even after sizeable funds have been invested and other binding commitments made, which the investor cannot rescind or modify. This can cripple a project's financial viability and attractiveness, cause project development deadlines and contractual commitments to be missed, and damage an Investor's reputation and credibility.

The biggest risks to Investors are that a project may later be cancelled altogether, or that extra work may be mandated, unexpected costs incurred, and unplanned delays encountered. These risks have the potential to dramatically undercut or even destroy a project's feasibility, especially if such problems materialize only after contracts have already been negotiated and legally binding commitments made (e.g., contracts for construction, finance, off take arrangements, etc.)

The Government, too, must grapple with a number of major risks, including: (i) that "bad" projects may slip through, harming people or the environment, (ii) that a dilatory, poorly conducted, or inconclusive review and approval process will negatively affect Investor sentiment, undermining the Government's ability to develop the industrial sector and slowing the implementation of energy, water and other infrastructure projects essential to  socioeconomic development; and (iii) that Investors will seek to offset their increased costs by renegotiating and reducing the taxes, royalties and other benefits payable to the Government.


In executing the Services, the Expert will use relevant guidelines and checklists including the EIA Guideline of 2015, and applicable technical standards previously applied for similar projects or environmental and social issues.

Key reference documents include:

  1. Applicable Lao Laws and Regulations
  2. Lao PDR Standard Environmental and Social Obligations as part of Concession Agreements (this may include executed Annex C’s and recently drafted revised standard obligations)
  3. MONRE’s ESIA Reporting Guideline
  4. Lao PDR Policy and Guidelines on Sustainable Hydropower Development
  5. IFC Performance Standards, relevant IFC Industry Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines, IFC Good Practice Handbook on Cumulative Impact Assessment and Management
  6. Internationally accepted Best Available Techniques for thermal power and coal mining
  7. Other relevant industry codes, standards or guidelines.

The approach to the review is not only to provide technical expert opinions on the SESO, but also to facilitate reaching consensus and common understanding between the project developer and DNREP concerning key risks and impacts and how they can be mitigated to a level that meets legal requirements and satisfies good industry practices, applicable environmental and social safeguards and other relevant international standards.

Applying this process, will also help building the capacity of DNREP officers involved in the project, and the Expert will work closely with DNREP officers, DNREP’s legal counsel and representatives and the project developer (legal, financial and environmental advisers and consultants) in a constructive dialogue and go through the main findings, discuss how to deal with them, and establish a firm and broad mutual understanding from which the project will be able to proceed.

Scope Of Services

Review and check draft environmental and social obligations in Annex C of the Concession Agreement:

The services related to Environmental and Social Obligations in Annex C of the Concession Agreement will include:

  • Reviewing the draft Annex C of the Concession Agreement and check that the obligations cover all relevant and significant environmental and social issues considering the project design and layout and the social and environmental setting of the project;
  • Checking that legislation and technical standards listed in Annex C are relevant and prevailing. Propose alternative or additional legislation or technical standards;
  • Participate in Annex C negotiations supporting (DEPRT ABBREVIATION NAME) representatives with technical inputs as appropriate;
  • Propose additional or alternative obligations;
  • Checking budget requirements.

Working Arrangements

Institutional arrangement:

The Consultant will be supervised by and report to Department of Natural Resources and Environment Policy, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

 Duration of the Work:

15 working days within 2 months (February to March 2020).

Duty Station:

Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR.

Requirements For Experience And Qualifications

Academic Qualifications:

Master’s Degree in Energy, Environmental, Social Science, Natural Resource Management, or a closely related field

Experience & Skills:

  • Minimum 10 years of relevant work on Energy, Environmental, Social licensing/ environmental - social impact assessment on environmental issues;
  • Having experience in working with policy analysis and guidance on issues related to social and environmental outcomes;
  • Having experience in working with Lao Government and International organization related to the social and environmental sector;
  • Familiarity with peat management and protection issues;
  • Familiarity with the Lao environmental - social assessment system and institutions;
  • Familiarity with international and Lao national on the environmental - social standard obligation.
  • Strong planning and organizing skills;
  • Strong capacity to explain and mobilize communities around environmental and social issue and solution;
  • Good verbal and written communication skills in both English and Lao;
  • Be flexible, reliable and trustworthy;
  • Ability to work proactively and with initiative;
  • Ability to work as part of a team;
  • Be able to work and meet tight deadline and also under pressure. 

We invite qualified candidate to submit your resume stating position apply for, your present and expected salary and ref directly, E-mail to:  careers@phonesackgroup.com and ananh.x@phonesackgroup.com  or send hard copy of application form to the Human Resources Department (Mr. Ananh) at: Phonesack Group, Ltd. Unit 15, Sithong Road, Pakthang Village, Sikhottabong District, P.O. Box 1808, Vientiane Lao PDR. Tel (Mobile): 020 55 616172, Office:  021 550497, Ext 1153, Fax: (856-21) 550498, website: www.phonesackgroup.com.

  • job summary
  • Post Date 14 February 2020
  • Prefered Language English
  • Job Level Senior
  • Job Industry OTHERS
  • Job Function Others
  • Job Location Vientiane Capital
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Phonesack Group Co.,Ltd

Phonesack Group Co.,Ltd

Unit 15, Sithong Road Pakthang Sikhottabong Vientiane Capital

Contact Name : N/A
Email : careers@phonesackgroup.com
Telephone : (856-21) 550497

Phonesack Group Co., Ltd is one of the largest wholly owned Lao companies. The Company employs over 100 supportive personnel at its headquarters and over 2,500 employees and sub-contractors throughout sites in Lao PDR.

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