About 130 km from the Salween River’s mouth is a site longtime identified as the final location suitable for hydropower development on what remains one of Asia’s longest un-dammed rivers.
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.
With a population of just over 200,000, Myeik is home to mostly fishermen and rubber and coconut plantation workers. The area, however, is not on Myanmar’s national power grid, a key motivation for the project.
It’s unprecedented: the largest industrial estate and deep sea port complex conceived in Southeast Asia. It’s controversial: trampling pristine shorelines; felling valuable forests and orchards; paving highways through remote mountain passes and uprooting ethnic minorities all along the way.