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BACTEC Awarded Power Line Project in Lao PDR

BACTEC Awarded Power Line Project in Lao PDR Image
The Australian and British based Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists, BACTEC, has been awarded a contract to clear 176 kilometres of power line easement in the Savannakhet and Khammouane Provinces in the southern part of Lao in South East Asia. The project is in support of the Sepon Gold and Copper Mine, the largest mineral operation in Lao PDR.

This project follows on from a 2 year contract, awarded in July 2007, by Lane Xang Minerals Limited (LXML), a subsidiary of Oxiana Limited of Australia, to BACTEC. The LXML mining lease is located adjacent to the former Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in Vietnam and the area was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War.

BACTEC has, on the LXML mining project, over 250 local staff supported by EOD qualified technicians from Cambodia and expat staff from Australia, New Zealand, UK and France.

Under this new contract, BACTEC is required to deploy a further 150 local staff to undertake the clearance of the easement, tracks and tower pads. To maintain the quality of the UXO clearance BACTEC has conducted training courses for the local staff to meet internationally recognized UXO clearance standards.

The UXO problem in Lao and surrounding countries is a legacy from the Vietnam War. Timothy Pippett, the Managing Director for BACTEC Lao Limited emphasised that the main target for bombing raids was the many arms of the Ho Chi Min Trail which ran through both Lao and Cambodia on its way to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon).

A little known fact, “there was more ordnance dropped in Lao by the Americans during the Vietnam War than the total ordnance dropped by the allies during the whole of the World War ll”.

The country is still highly contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO), as evidenced by the number of UXO related injuries and deaths recorded each year.

This project continues BACTEC's expansion into the South East Asia market where the company currently has offices in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Philippines and Australia. BACTEC has cleared over of 3 million sq. metres of land during the last year in Lao and Cambodia with over 950 UXO being located and destroyed. The major items have been cluster munitions (bombies) which have exceeded landmines as the number one killer of innocent local personnel around the world. The efforts of UXO clearance companies like BACTEC have gone a long way to returning Lao back to the safe and friendly country of bygone years.
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