Last update:

Tigyit coal mine and power plant, Shan State, Myanmar

Burma’s first coal power plant and mine were closed in 2014 following successful mobilizations by residents. The reopening of the power station has renewed the protests against the dirty energy provider.


Tigyit is a village in Shan State, Myanmar that was once rich of local traditions and diverse livelihood practices based on rotational agriculture of rice, potatoes, cabbage, garlic and chili. Tea coming from the area has been famous in the country. In 2001, the village was turned into Myanmar’s first large-scale coal mine and power plant. Strong local opposition due to concerns over adverse health and environmental impacts followed. The Pa-Oh Youth Organization (PYO) – a civil society group (CSO) set up by monks, women and youth in 1998 - and Kyoju Action Network (KAN) published a report in 2011 that documented the negative experiences with the Tigyit coal project [see 1 – 2011 report “Poison Clouds: Lessons from Burma’s largest coal project at Tigyit”]. 

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Tigyit coal mine and power plant, Shan State, Myanmar
State or province:Shan State
Location of conflict:Tigyit village, Pinlaung 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:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Land acquisition conflicts
Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The coal mine and coal power plant is in the village of Tigyit, Shan State, about 20 km from Myanmar’s Inle Lake.

See more
Project area:202
Level of Investment:> 53,000,000 USD (mine and plant, 2001-2011)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:12,000
Start of the conflict:2001
Company names or state enterprises:Wuxi Huagaung Electric Power Engineering from China - operating company - since 2015
Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise ( MEPE) from Myanmar
China National Heavy Machinery Corporation (CHMC) from China - operating company
Eden Group of Myanmar Co. Ltd from Myanmar - operating company
Shan Yoma Naga Co. Ltd from Myanmar - operating company
Relevant government actors:Burma’s past military regime
Ministry of Mining
Ministry of Energy
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Pa-Oh Youth Organization (PYO),
Kyoju Action Network (KAN)
Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA),
and others
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Shan, Pa-Oh, Taung Yoe, and Burman ethnic groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other Health impacts
Potential: Malnutrition
Other Health impactsSeveral workers died due to landslides at the mine [1].
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Bottom up mobilizations successfully helped to shut the plant in 2014 and the case has became an important reference for the countrywide struggles against coal power. However, the coal power plant has recently reopened under a new permission.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

2012 Environmental Conservation Law
[click to view]

2012 Foreign Investment Law
[click to view]

1994 Myanmar Mines Law
[click to view]

2014 Myanmar Electricity Law
[click to view]

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

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] 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]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] Myanmar Times, 10 November 2016 "Official speaks out against coal power" (accessed online 11.06.2018).
[click to view]

[3] Myanmar Times, 28 April 2016 "Chinese firm to restart Myanmar’s only coal plant" (accessed online 11.06.2018).
[click to view]

[2] (accessed online 11.06.2018).
[click to view]

[5] Myanmar Times, 265 October 2016 "Residents fear restart of coal power plant" (accessed online 11.06.2018).
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video "Burma biggest coal mine" based on the 2011 Report "Poison clouds"
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EJatlas Southeast Asia Team ("at"
Last update13/06/2018
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.