Mr Katz has been CEO of the operating company for the Nam Theun 2 Multi-Purpose Project since 2007, overseeing completion of construction of the hydropower facility and supervising implementation of the project’s wide-reaching social and environmental programmes in line with Lao national policy.
Presenting the award on behalf of President Sarkozy of France, Mr Sénémaud described Mr Katz as an engineer concerned as much by economic development and social progress as by technical performance. Nam Theun 2, said the Ambassador, is a sustainable development project with unique environmental and social dimensions, forming a pillar for Lao economic growth. This was, he said, why France had given full support to the project in conjunction with the Lao government and international financial institutions.
Mr Katz, who will later this year return to his duties as an engineer with Electricité de France (EDF), the majority shareholder in NTPC, said the honour came in recognition of the efforts of the thousands of people involved in the Nam Theun 2 Project. He thanked the Lao government, the shareholders and construction companies behind the project, and the staff at NTPC, before dedicating his award to the villagers around the Nam Theun 2 area.
The Chairman of the NTPC Board, Mr Jean-Christophe Philbe, was the first to congratulate the new chevalier, telling the assembled audience that that Mr Katz’s talents were decisive in making Nam Theun 2 a success shared by all stakeholders:
# # #
The Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) is the developer and operator of the Nam Theun 2 Multi-Purpose Project in the Lao PDR. The project is a public-private partnership designed to generate electricity for export to Thailand and domestic use in Laos. Revenues accruing to the Lao government during NTPC's concession period, estimated at over US$2 billion, are used to fund poverty alleviation in the country. Nam Theun 2 is structured as an industrial and a development project, placing great emphasis on protection of the environment and sustainable social programmes to improve the livelihoods of people in the project area. After 25 years of operation from 2010, the project will be transferred to the Lao State. See www.namtheun2.com.