The Xayaburi Dam is a run-of-river hydroelectric dam on the Lower Mekong River, approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Sainyabuli (Xayaburi) town in northern Laos. Commercial operation of the dam started in October 2019. The main purpose of the dam is to produce hydroelectric power, 95% of which is to be purchased by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The project is surrounded in controversy due to complaints from downstream riparians and environmentalists. Preliminary construction began in early-2012, but work on the dam itself was suspended shortly thereafter due to complaints from Cambodia and Vietnam downstream. After making modifications to the dam's design, Laos started construction with a ceremony on 7 November 2012. The Xayaburi Dam is the first of the 11 dams planned on the lower Mekong.