Lut Lut / Than Phyo Thu coal power station, Myeik, Myanmar

‘Save our villages’. Residents from Lut Lut and Tamothe villages mobilize against the plans for a 50 MW coal-fired power plant to protect their farming and fishing-based livelihoods.


Description

The plans to construct a 50 MW coal-fired power plant in Lut Lut village, about 20km away from Myeik, have provoked strong local opposition by residents. Lut Lut is a small village with 100 households and a population of about 400. Next to Lut Lut is Thamote village, with more than 700 households [1].

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Basic Data
NameLut Lut / Than Phyo Thu coal power station, Myeik, Myanmar
CountryMyanmar
ProvinceTanintharyi
SiteLutlut village, Myeik 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 CommoditiesElectricity
Land
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Myanmar Times reported that both the Than Phyo Thu Mining Company and Myeik Public Corporation are involved in the construction and operation of the power plant [1].

According to the director, the company bought 160 acres (ca. 65 ha) of land. The power plant will be constructed on an area of 20 acres (ca. 8 ha), he said [1].

The investment size was reported to amount to 65 million USD [2].

According to the company director, the plant initially aimed to mine its own coal, for which it had received a permission by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) [1,2]. However, the idea fell through and coal would have to be imported from Indonesia [1]. German technology and Chinese manufactured machinery will be used to operate the plant, said the director [1].
Project Area (in hectares)65 ha (approx.)
Level of Investment (in USD)65,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationseveral hundred households
Start Date07/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesMyeik Public Corporation from Myanmar
Than Phyo Thu Mining Co.,Ltd. from Myanmar
Relevant government actorsMyanmar Investment Commission (MIC)

Ministry of Electric Power

Tanintharyi Ministry for Electricity

and others
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersseveral organizations at the country level (see references, statement signed by 422 civil society organizations against coal [9])
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Other Health impacts
Otherexposure to pollution from coal burning [6].
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseUnder negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesThe Thamote village administrator proposes to produce electricity from cleaner natural gas, which according to him is plentiful in the region. He furthermore argues that electricity supply should be managed by the public and not through private investments [1].
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The protests have been successful in raising awareness about the potential impacts of the plant coal power plant. The project has also been substantially delayed and currently seems to be shelved [8]. It is not clear whether the project is delayed/shelved because of the protests, or because of a lacking permission from the Myanmar Investment Commission, or a combination of both.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

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

2014 Myanmar Electricity Law
[click to view]

2012 Environmental Conservation Law
[click to view]

References

[7] PYO and KAN 2011 "Poison Clouds: Lessons from Burma's largest coal project at Tigyit". Pa-Oh Youth Organization (PYO) and Kyoju Action Network (KAN). (accessed online 11.06.2018).
[click to view]

[6] 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]

Links

[2] Myanmar Times, 13 August 2012, "Deal signed for 50MW Myeik power plant"
[click to view]

[5] DVB news, 14 January 2014 "Myeik residents protest coal plant plans"
[click to view]

[1] Myanmar Times, 15 March 2016 "Local resistance fails to halt Myeik coal-fired power plant"
[click to view]

[3] Mizzima news, 13 January 2014 "Protestors condemn plan for coal-fired power plant"
[click to view]

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

[9] 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]

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

[4] Steelguru, Power News, 15 January 2014 "Tanintharyi Region condemn plan for coal-fired power plant near Myeik"
[click to view]

[8] Sourcewatch.org entry "Myeik Than Phyo Thu power station"
[click to view]

Other Documents

Protests Source: DVB news, http://www.dvb.no/news/myeik-residents-protest-coal-plant-plans-burma-myanmar-burma-myanmar/36049
[click to view]

Project site Source: Myanmar Times, https://www.mmtimes.com/business/19465-local-resistance-fails-to-halt-myeik-coal-fired-power-plant.html
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEJatlas Southeast Asia Team (ejatlas.asia"at"gmail.com)
Last update19/07/2018
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