By The Mekong Eye
Inn Din village, Ye Township, Mon State, Myanmar, September 17, 2015
Baht Beyond Borders #2 – Thai investment booming next door
Inn Din Coal Plant, Myanmar
In April, Thailand-based Toyo-Thai Corporation PCL signed a memorandum of agreement with the Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity to construct a 1,280 megawatt coal-fired power plant near the coastal village of Inn Din in Mon State. One month later 5,000 people staged a protest near the seaside Inn Din project site in Ye Township. Public opposition has been mounting since the project was first announced last year.
If the plan proceeds, Toyo-Thai will sell electricity from the plant to the Myanmar government. The US$ 2.8 billion plant will sit on 500 acres acquired with the understanding that it would be used for shrimp and farm ponds, not a power plant. Coal to fuel the plant would be shipped from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia.
Locals estimate that 90 percent of residents are opposed to the project and have been frustrated with Toyo-Thai’s consoltations so far. They report that Toyo-Thai would provide a one-time payment of US$1.5 million as part of its corporate social responsibility program. Villagers’ own economic survey estimates they generate $5.8 million annually from farming and fishing, making the project sponsor’s offer difficult to accept.
Toyo-Thai is a joint venture of Italian-Thai Development (one of the largest contractors in Thailand), and Toyo Engineering Corporation (leading international engineering firm specializing in petrochemicals). Italian-Thai is also a lead developer of the Dawei Special Economic Zone 100km to the south. The company claims they are using the industry’s best technology and are making every effort to avoid negatively impacting locals.