A meeting between local residents and Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL), in cooperation with Resource and Environment Myanmar (REM), was convened to discuss environmental monitoring of MCL’s cement factory construction.
“This meeting is being held to achieve open communication with local residents. We will take the locals’ feedback regarding the long-term run of the project but also about how the locals feel,” said Mr. Wijit Terasarun, managing director of MCL.
“Within this week, we plan to meet residents from 9 or 10 villages near the MCL site. We will also meet residents and government officials in Kyaikmayaw Township.”
The company reportedly planned to hold meetings from February 7 to 11 in Kaw Wan, Kaw Don, Kaw Panor, Kwan Ngan and Kadon villages.
The director added that MCL has regularly reported its project activities to residents and relevant authorities over the past three years through REM, the organization that documented MCL’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) in 2013, prior to the project breaking ground.
Nai Aue Mon, program director for the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), said that MCL must ensure transparency by clearly explaining to residents the information collected during the SIA/EIA process.
“Every foreign investment company must go through the SIA/EIA [Social Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment] process. It is very important. Otherwise we won’t be sure whether they are following procedure. In their released statement and press conference, [MCL] said they did the SIA/EIA.”
The Integrated Cement Plant project would run its cement factory using 40 mega watt electricity produced by a coal-fired plant, as well as another 9 mega watt of power from bio waste in a Waste Heat Generator, according to a statement on MCL’s Siam Cement Group (SCG) website from August 26, 2013.
“We should check their EIA report and see whether it includes [assessments regarding] a coal-fired plant. If that is not in the report, but the company is now constructing a coal-fired plant, they are breaking national investment law,” said the human rights director.
Construction of the cement project began in February 2014 and will reportedly complete in mid-2016. According to company plans, the factory would produce 5,000 tons of cement per day, more than 1.8 million tons per year.