Huaneng Haimen coal-fired power station, China

Protests and blockades for stopping a coal power station did not achieve their goal. Repression and violence against protesters put at place while China expands energy generation capacity.


In 2011, when plans were announced to expand the coal-fired Huaneng Haimen power station situated in Haimen, residents and other citizens opposing the expansion took their anger to the streets. The residents argued that existing coal-fired power plants had already caused environmental and health-related damage to the local population, citing that they had caused a rise in cases of cancer and damage to the local fishing industry.

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Basic Data
NameHuaneng Haimen coal-fired power station, China
ProvinceGuangdong Province
SiteHaimen, Chaoyang District, Shantou Prefecture
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific CommoditiesCoal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Huaneng Haimen power station is operated by the state-owned China Huaneng Group. The coal-fired has four units which were put in operation between 2009 and 2013. The station's total capacity is 4,144 MW.
Project Area (in hectares)Approx. 90 hectares
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected PopulationAround 30,000
Start Date20/12/2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesChina Huaneng Group (CHNG) from China
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationStreet protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Online accounts stating that two people had died during the protest were denied by a Chinese official and could not be confirmed.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.In 2014, protests re-emerged and twelve people were arrested for blocking a road leading to the plant for disturbing public order. After expansion plans were temporarily put on hold due to the protests in 2011, two additional coal-fired units were finally completed in 2013, bringing the power station's capacity up to a total of 4,144 MW.
Sources and Materials

YANG, Ailun; CUI, Yiyun (2012), Global Coal Risk Assessment: Data Analysis and Market Research, World Resources Institute, Working Paper, November 2012,
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Chinese official denies reports of deaths at Haimen protest, by Alison Leung and Sisi Tang, Reuters, 21 December 2011
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Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Chinese City, by Michael Wines, The New York Times, 23 December 2011
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Opposition to coal in China, SourceWatch, Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)
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Huaneng Haimen power station, SourceWatch, Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)
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Company Profile, Huaneng Power International Inc.
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Media Links

The New York Times (2011), Villagers gathered to protest in Haimen, China, on Friday, 25 December 2011
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Other Documents

Blockade of a highway, Dec 2011 Source:
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Meta Information
Last update27/02/2018