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Hpa-An coal plant, Karen state, Myanmar

A project for a coal plant was proposed in a war-ravaged area in Eastern Myanmar. The project has been temporarily suspended by the central government due to the local rejection but the local government is still supporting it.


Energy has been one of the main concerns in Myanmar since the country opened up to foreign investment in 2012 and the government has been focusing on increasing production to meet the new demand. Even though some of the projects were already on the table, the government and companies are pushing to get approval for controversial hydroelectric projects and coal plants across the country. Some of these projects have followed the signature of peace deals with rebels groups [1], even though many of them are rejected by the ethnic groups.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Hpa-An coal plant, Karen state, Myanmar
State or province:Karen state
Location of conflict:Hpa-An
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Capacity: 1,280-megawatt (MW) [3,7].

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Project area:330
Level of Investment:2,800,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:400,000-800,000
Start of the conflict:02/04/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo) from Japan
Toyo-Thai Public Co. Ltd (TTPCL) (TTPCL) from Thailand
Italian-Thai Development Public Company Limited (Italthai) from Thailand
Relevant government actors:Myanmar Government
Ministry of Electricity and Energy
Karen State Government
and others
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:EarthRights International (,
Coal Working Group, Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability,
Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN -
and others
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsExposure to pollution
Premature deaths due to pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:The local NGOs are proposing to cancel all proposed and suspended coal-fired power plants, to pass a national moratorium on coal power plants, and to promote and regulate the implementation of sustainable renewable energy projects
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The central government in Naypyidaw announced that they wouldn't support the project. However, the regional government has not followed up.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

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

2012 Environmental Conservation Law
[click to view]

2012 Foreign Investment Law
[click to view]

2014 Myanmar Electricity Law
[click to view]

[4] Power games over Kayin coal-fired plant, Frontier Myanmar, April 26, 2018
[click to view]

[9] Cancelling Myanmar’s new coal plants could save 7,100 lives a year, Greenpeace, press release, May 4, 2017
[click to view]

[8] Nay Pyi Taw scraps Hpa-An coal power plant, communities urge Kayin govt to follow suit, Myanmar Times, April 5, 2018
[click to view]

[5] Kayin residents fear coal plant may go ahead, The Myanmar Times, April 9, 2018
[click to view]

[3] TTCL plans two power plants in Myanmar worth $6 bn, The Nation, June 10, 2017
[click to view]

[1] Govt, KNU sign ceasefire, The Myanmar Times, Jan 16, 2012
[click to view]

[7] Anti-coal power plant protesters stopped in Kayin, the Myanmar Times, November 10, 2017
[click to view]

[6] TTCL will build a 1.3 GW coal-fired power plant in Kayin (Myanmar), Enerdata, October 21, 2017
[click to view]

[2] Divisions harden over coal power plant in Kayin State, January 22, 2018
[click to view]

[10] Myanmar Official Says Hpa-An Coal Plant Cancelled, Earth Rights International, April 4, 2018
[click to view]

[11] Letter No.TTCL-FIN-CS-018/2560, Signing of Joint Venture and Land Lease Agreement, October 27, 2017
[click to view]

[12] The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census, Kayin State, Hpa-an district, Hpa-an Township Report, Department of Population,

Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, October 2017
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Laura Villadiego, Carro de Combate, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
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