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Kawthaung coal power plant, Tanintharyi, Myanmar

‘No to the Coal Power Plant’. ‘Bring Us Sustainable Energy’. Placards and protests against one of the first coal power plants in Myanmar make it clear: the country needs clean energy


The rather small (8MW) Kawthaung power plant has been one of the first two coal-fired power stations that started operations in Myanmar. Located in Kawthaung township at the southernmost point in Myanmar, it is in a coastal area characterized by idyllic beaches and an archipelago of more than 800 islands. Most of the residents of Kawthaung are small farmers and fisher people and the coastal area is also home to Myanmar’s ‘sea gypsies’ . 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kawthaung coal power plant, Tanintharyi, Myanmar
State or province:Tanintharyi
Location of conflict:Kawthaung township
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:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The coal-fired power plant is in Kawthaung township, at the southernmost point in Myanmar. It has an installed capacity of 8 MW. According to residents, the chimney has a height of about 40 feet (ca. 12m) [1].

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Level of Investment for the conflictive projectunknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:several hundred
Start of the conflict:01/2010
Company names or state enterprises:Than Phyo Thu Mining Co.,Ltd. from Myanmar - constructor and operating company
Relevant government actors:Myanmar Investment Commission
Ministry of Electric Power
and others
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution
Potential: Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsExposure to fine dust and other pollutants from coal [see 5]
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project has started operations despite community concerns.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

2012 Environmental Conservation Law
[click to view]

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

2014 Myanmar Electricity Law
[click to view]

[1] Mizzima news, 05 March 2012 "Residents protest Kawthaung coal-fired power plant" (accessed online 29.06.2018). (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[2] DVB news, 16 October 2012 "Locals protest against new power plant" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[3] The Irrawaddy, 17 October 2012 "Kawthaung Residents Protest Coal Power Plant" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[4] DVB News, 05 March 2012 "Coal plant stirs unease in southern Burma" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[5] 2017 REPORT "Coal: a Public Health Crisis in Myanmar". Published by Greenpeace, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Earthrights International, Alarm, Myanmar Green Network, 2017. (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[6] DVB News, 14 January 2014 "Myeik residents protest coal plant plans" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[7] The Irrawaddy, 06 November 2013 "Kawthaung Residents Claim Coal Plant Causes Health Problems" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[8] Statement by 422 Civil Society Organizations from 13 December 2016 "Myanmar: Say no to coal and big dams" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[9] Myanmar Times, 15 July 2013 "Government urged to abandon coal plans" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

[10] Earth Rights International "Coal Moratorium and Renewable Energy in Myanmar" (accessed online 29.06.2018).
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJatlas Southeast Asia Team ("at"
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3556
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