Local residents have expressed concerns about the social and environmental threats that the coal power plant could pose. 

Environmental and social impact studies will be carried out into plans for a state-of-the-art US$3.5 billion coal-fired 1,800-2,000 MW power plant in Myeik township on the Andaman Sea coast.

U Ye Min Aung, a director of the Ayeyar Hinthar group of companies, told Mizzima October 13 that five companies from Japan, Thailand and Myanmar will follow comprehensive assessments into the implementation of the coal-fired power plant project.

“If environmental and social impact assessments and the feasibility study prove that the project will have highly negative impacts on the region, the companies will not implement this project,” U Ye Min Aung told Mizzima.

Japan’s giant Marubeni Corporation, Thailand’s Sri Synergy, Global Power Synergy company, under PTT, and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand International, and Myanmar’s Ayeyar Hinthar Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the department of hydropower planning under Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power in Nay Pyi Taw on October 9 to conduct a feasibility study, and environmental and social impact assessments before starting the coal power project.

U Ye Min Aung told Mizzima that he can confirm that his group is discussing with five first-class international companies to carry out the safety checks, a process that could take nine months at a cost of about US$10 million. Currently, it is hard to tell how many international companies will be signed up, he said.

The Marubeni Corporation said in a press release on October 10 that the project aims to construct what they term an environmentally-friendly coal-fired power plant using state-of-the-art technology in Myeik Township that will supply electricity to Myanmar and Thailand.

The release said that Marubeni aims to develop a power generation project which provides a safe and secure environment for the citizens living in the surrounding area by utilizing environmentally-friendly and highly efficient technology, such as “ultra-supercritical technology,” said to produce lower toxic emissions than conventional technology.

Both Myanmar and Thailand have witnessed public protests when plans for coal-fired power plants are announced.