Mon govt pressures Thai energy giant

The government of Mon State has requested that energy giants Toyo-Thai produce a long overdue feasibility study.

They are responsible for the planned construction of a one thousand two hundred and eighty megawatt coal fired powerplant set to cost two point seven billion dollars.

Toyo-Thai says construction is set for 2015, on 500 acres of land in An-Din village of Ye township outside the Moulmein metropolitan area. Yet the Mon State government are concerned that building work has begun, under the guise of compiling the report.

Mon State administrators say now is the time for environmentalists to make their claim. Zaw Linn Htun, Secretary for Mon State, says the massive project is not yet sure of coming to fruition.

“We have not yet fully approved the coal fired power plant. We just needed the survey to determine whether it is possible to go ahead with it,” he told DVB

“The will of the people is also very important. If people don’t agree, [the company] cannot continue. So we asked them to stop. We were worried that they were carrying on with the project while saying that they were just conducting a survey.”

The project has drawn the ire of local environmentalists, who warn that it could devastate the natural environment. Mon State boasts a vast, rich coastline, relied upon by fisherman and agriculturalists.

Local activists have been circulating a petition this week, and distributing pamphlets against the project.

They plan to submit their complaint to the Ministry of Energy, which signed off on the project last year.

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Local activist Aung Naing Win remains on his guard.

“The letter from the government to the company said the survey is overdue. This doesn’t mean that they will stop the project. So we will keep on collecting signatures for our petition, as the fight is ongoing.”

On completion, the plant will burn coal imported from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia, with some power set to be sold back to Burma by the Thai company.

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