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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.


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
State or province:Mon State
Location of conflict: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:Electricity
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 & 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
Recreational users
Religious 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
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].
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 & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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

2012 Foreign Investment Law
[click to view]

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

2016 Myanmar Investment Law
[click to view]

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

2014 Myanmar Electricity Law
[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] on "Mawlamyine Cement power station" (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], 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]

[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]

Meta information
Contributor:EJatlas Southeast Asia Team ("at"
Last update12/06/2018
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