Controversial coal-fired power plant built in MCL Cement factory, Mon State, Myanmar

Thousands of residents, monks and local civil society organizations mobilize to halt the coal-fired power plant in Kyaikmayaw Township, demanding the use of cleaner energy sources.


Description

A rather small, controversial coal-fired power plant in Kyaikmayaw Township (Mon State) causes concerns and opposition by residents. The plant is part of a cement factory run by the company Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) [1,2]. The facility was approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission through an agreement signed in March 2013, according to which the factory will operate for the next 45-50 years [3,4].

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Basic Data
NameControversial coal-fired power plant built in MCL Cement factory, Mon State, Myanmar
CountryMyanmar
ProvinceMon State
SiteKyaikmayaw Township, Mon State
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Thermal power plants
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Cement
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe plant is run by Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL), which is a subsidiary of Thai Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Pacific Link Cement [1]. News reports state that it has the capacity to produce about 5,000 tonnes of cement per day [8]. The controversial coal plant powering the factory has a gross capacity of 40 MW (Units 1&2: 20 MW, each) [1] plus a spare turbine of 9MW, totalling to 49 MW of installed capacity [4].

According to company staff, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed for the cement factory by Resource and Environment Myanmar [6].

Coal is imported from Australia and Indonesia. According to a news articles from September 2017 more than 200,000 tons of coal have arrived [2].

Total investment into the cement factory was reported to amount to 400 million USD [2,3].

Lime stone for the related cement factory comes from a semi-open mining system on Mount Pya Taung in Kuam Ngan village in Kyaikmayaw Township [2].

Mariana Container Lines (MCL) operates the vessels carrying coal and rocks needed to produce cement in the factory [5].
Level of Investment (in USD)400,000,000 USD (entire cement factory)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationseveral thousand residents
Start Date03/2013
Company Names or State EnterprisesMawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) (MCL) from Myanmar - operating company
Siam Cement Group (SCG) (SCG) from Thailand - parent company
Pacific Link Cement Industries Ltd. from Myanmar - parent company
Mariana Container Lines (MCL) (MCL) from Myanmar - transports coal to the power plant
Relevant government actorsMyanmar Investment Commission

Ministry of Natural Resource and Environmental Conservation

Ministry of Electricity and Energy

Mon State Parliament
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMt. Pya Taung, a grassroots group named after the mountain from which raw materials are extracted for the factory

Mon State Human Rights Foundation.

Southern Myanmar Journalist Network (SMJN)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Recreational users
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
OtherRiver ecoystems are disturbed by the coal transporting vessels, also impacting average fish catch [5].
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Malnutrition
OtherIncreased exposure to acid rains, coal fumes, etc.
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts
OtherDeclining fish catch due to disturbances of the river ecosystem through the coal transporting vessels [5].
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Negotiations are ongoing and pressure on the facility is mounting by residents and government actors
Sources and Materials
Legislations

2008 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
[click to view]

2012 Foreign Investment Law
[click to view]

2016 Myanmar Investment Law
[click to view]

2014 Myanmar Electricity Law
[click to view]

2016 Mon State medium- and small-scale electricity supply law

2015 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedure
[click to view]

Links

[4] The Irrawaddy, 17 August 2017 "Legality of Mon State Cement Factory’s Power Plant Questioned" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[5] Myanmar Times, 12 January 2018 "Cement factory draws ire of fishermen" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[1] Sourcewatch.org on "Mawlamyine Cement power station" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[9] Myanmar Times, 22 December 2017 "Cement factory officials to meet residents over complaints" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[2] The Irrawaddy, 6 September 2017. "Mon State Parliament to Debate Controversial Cement Factory". (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[3] The Irrawaddy, 21 July 2017. "More than 2,000 Locals Protest Cement Factory in Mon State" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[6] Myanmar Times, 8 February 2016 "Thai cement giant tackles Mon coal fears" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[7] Globalcement.com, 18 August 2017 "Mawlamyine plant may not have proper power plant permission" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

[8] Myanmar Times, 28 November 2017 "Factory accused of using journalists to polish image" (accessed online 30.05.2018).
[click to view]

Other Documents

Protests against the coal fired power plant Source: The Irrawaddy, https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/legality-mon-state-cement-factorys-power-plant-questioned.html
[click to view]

Vessels transporting coal to the factory Source: The Myanmar Times, https://www.mmtimes.com/news/cement-factory-draws-ire-fishermen.html
[click to view]

[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEJatlas Southeast Asia Team (ejatlas.asia"at"gmail.com)
Last update12/06/2018
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