Residents stage protest against coal-fired power plant built in MCL Cement Plant

Malamyine residents have staged a protest against the coal-fired power plant at MCL Cement Plant in Kyaikmayaw, Mon State, which may also have been constructed without permission.

Aung Kyaw Thu, Chairman of Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs Assessment and Scrutiny Committee of Mon State Parliament, said: “Our committee raised a question to the Ministry of Electric Power and Energy about two 20-megawatt-installed coal-fired power plant in the MCL Cement Plant on July 7.

“The ministry replied on August 15 that the permission for the construction of the coal-fired power plant did not come from the Union level. On the other hand, the cement plant did not ask for permission from the authorities.

“The construction of the coal-fired power plant looks unofficial. But now MCL’s products are seen in the markets.

The MCL started construction in 2014 and it was commissioned into service in 2017. MCL is launching sales promotions on its products. Its advertisements are also seen in the markets. It is obviously found in the letter of the ministry that the construction of the coal-fired power plant goes against the permission.

“This matter is related to the management of the government. It goes against the law. We will send letters to both Union and State Governments. This project is to be carried out at the Union level. The Union level-projects must seek approvals from the Union government.”

Dr Aung Naing Oo, Vice-Chairman of Mon State Parliament, said: “We welcome investments in our state. But we will have to judge these investments if they agree with the law or not. MCL’s investment is OK, but its construction of coal-fired power plant to run the cement plant is not transparent. We pointed it out during the previous presidential term. Until now the MCL has not sought permission from the authorities. The residents protested not because of the construction of MCL Cement Plant but because of the coal-fired power plant.”

Pacific Link Cement Industries Ltd and Saim Cement Group (SCG) injected investment of US$400 million into MCL. It was constructed in Kyaikmayaw in 2014. On April 2017, it started generating 5,000 tonnes of cement a day on a commercial scale.

Source: Eleven