The New Mon State Party (NMSP) is opposing the Mawlmayine Cement Limited (MCL)’s plan to run its cement factory with the power from a coal-fired plant.
The NMSP stated it wouldn’t oppose cement factories being constructed for use in local development projects, but it completely opposed a coal fired plant that any corporation would utilize to run their factories, according to Nai Win Hla, a central executive of the NMSP and in-charge of NMSP’s Home Affairs.
“The people will lose their rights when these investment projects are implemented. If the projects damage the environment, the NMSP will stand with the people and it will help protect [the environment],” said Nai Win Hla.
On April 1, the NMSP also released a statement opposing the MCL’s project for using coal-fired power to run its factory in Kyaikmayaw Township. The statement had five key points including that MCL had lacked transparency when they explained to the locals about the intended use of coal-fired power to run its factory, before it started its project. Furthermore, it only announced its plan to utilize coal power to operate its factory when it neared completion. Therefore, the NMSP doesn’t accept the process in which MCL announced its plan to use coal-power.
Nai Win Hla also said that the NMSP didn’t want these major investments in Mon State right now since the last government is yet to finish signing the nationwide ceasefire agreement with all ethnic armed groups and political conflicts remained unsolved.
In a previous interview with MNA, MCL’s managing director Mr. Wijit Terasarun said that MCL already obtained permission to transport 30,000 metric tonnes of coal to its factory and that the factory would start the operation in mid-2016.
The MCL project, a 272.56 million USD investment, will produce 5,000 tonnes of cement per day, and on March 26, a ceremony testing the factory’s cement packaging machine was held at the site.
Similar to MCL, June Cement Industry received permission from the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) to construct its cement factory near the Maekaro village and Kaw Thon village, in Kyaikmayaw Township. June Cement Industry would also produce 5,000 metric tons of cement per day.
“We have already sent two letters to respective government departments opposing the June cement factory. But they don’t seem to be care and now the factory has received the go ahead. That is unfair,” said U Htun Kyi, Maekro Villager, adding that the local villagers didn’t want the factory built in the area and that the site of the factory is very close to Maekaro Village.
The Mon National Party (MNP) also released a statement on February 28, wherein the party stood with the people and opposed MCL’s project.
It is unacceptable to use coal-fired plants to produce electricity due to environmental damage, reduction of natural resources, health problems and risks to locals as well as the climatic change that they can cause, according to the MNP’s statement.