The Mon National Party (MNP) is strongly opposing any company that produces coal-powered electricity that may adversely affect the lives of people in Mon State and across Burma.
It is unacceptable to use coal-fired plants to produce electricity due to the environmental damages, reduction of natural resources, health problems and dangers to locals as well as the climatic change that they can cause, according to the MNP’s statement released on Sunday, February 28.
“They know this is dangerous but they only care about the profits. Therefore, we stand with the public and oppose the project. We will welcome natural gas over coal-fired power. We urge them to use natural gas. We are holding this talk to the public for them to understand about the negative impacts of the coal-fired plant,” said Dr. Min Kyi Win, join-secretary (2) of MNP.
The MNP and various experts held public talks on February 29 and March 1. They communicated the negative impacts of coal-fired plants to the villagers from Nee-ton, Kaw-don, and Kaw Pa-naw villages, near the Pyar Taung, Kyaikmayaw Township where Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) is located.
According to Mi Sandar Non, an activist opposing the coal-fired power campaign, thousands of locals provided their signatures objecting to the coal-fired powered [MCL] factory.
On January 28, 13 prominent monks from Kyaikmayaw Township were invited by SCG/MCL to observe SCG’s cement factory and the Mae Moh coal-fired power plant in Lamphang, northern Thailand.
“We saw that the technology in use at their factory is very good. It does not damage the environment. The company officers said they would apply the same techniques at the Mawlamyine cement factory as to not cause damage to the environment. However, as far as we have studied, we have never heard experts or environmentalists say that using a coal-fired plant would be OK for the environment. It is the best to use gas, instead of a coal-fired plant, to run the cement factory,” said Sayardaw Kaythumarla.
Sayardaw Kaythumarla added that if anything went wrong the locals would suffer. Therefore, it should be their decision whether the MCL should proceed with its coal-fired plant or not.
According to the locals, the MCL did not inform them of its desire to use coal-fired power before it started construction.
The MCL began construction in 2014 and planned to produce over 5,000 tons of cement per day. It’s set to begin operation in July.