Last update:
2018-06-12

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
Name of conflict:Controversial coal-fired power plant built in MCL Cement factory, Mon State, Myanmar
Country:Myanmar
State or province:Mon State
(municipality or city/town)Kyaikmayaw 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 :Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Thermal power plants
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Coal
Electricity
Cement
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The 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].

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Level of Investment:400,000,000 USD (entire cement factory)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:several thousand residents
Start of the conflict:03/2013
Company names or state enterprises:Mawlamyine 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 actors:Myanmar Investment Commission

Ministry of Natural Resource and Environmental Conservation

Ministry of Electricity and Energy

Mon State Parliament
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Mt. 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)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Recreational users
Religious groups
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Development 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 of the project
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
Other Environmental impactsRiver 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
Other Health impactsIncreased exposure to acid rains, coal fumes, etc.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsDeclining fish catch due to disturbances of the river ecosystem through the coal transporting vessels [5].
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Negotiations are ongoing and pressure on the facility is mounting by residents and government actors
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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 to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[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
Contributor:EJatlas Southeast Asia Team (ejatlas.asia"at"gmail.com)
Last update12/06/2018
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