Mawlamyine the initiative of the Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) cement plant, located in Mon State’s Kyaikmaraw Township, to run their operations using a coal generated electricity supply, will be resolved by the Mon State Hluttaw in accordance with legal protocol, the Hluttaw has made known.
“Law are very detailed. Is this initiative in accordance will the law? What was the main decision in granting permission for MLC [to use coal to generate electricity] based on in regard to the investment law? Furthermore, the Hluttaw will also look into, with the perspective of the law, how permission was granted in regard to scrutinizing electric and industrial laws. If it’s found [permission was] not [granted] in accordance [with existing laws] an answer will come out [as to why],” said Dr Aung Naing Oo, deputy speaker of the Mon State Hluttaw. The MCL cement plant was constructed with the signing of a contract with the erstwhile central government. The factory has since been built, and is reportedly on the verge of making a preliminary test run to check everything is in working order before production can officially begin. Residents living in close proximity to the factory voice that after company staff held a consultation with local villagers at the start of 2016, upon completion of the factory, to inform them coal would be used to generate electricity to power the plant, residents sent a series of letters of complaint and objection to all tiers of government to entreat them to stop such utilization of coal. “We sent letters of complaint to the new government. But the government has yet to effectively resolve this situation. Boats ferrying hauls of imported foreign coal continue arrive. Us citizens will stop the use of coal to power the factory by whatever means necessary,” said U Naing Mit, a resident living in the vicinity of the MCL cement plant.
Dr Min Kyi Win, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation for Mon State, told Myitmakha News Agency that a inspection committee was formed by the Mon State government in June earlier this year to review the MCL cement plant, of which the findings of their study have since been submitted to central government.
“This enterprise is one permitted by the former government. As such, we, as a state government, don’t possess the power to stop it. That said, we’ll do something in one way or another if the plant proves to be of detriment to the surround environment when the time comes for it to make its inaugural test run,” he said.
Dr Aung Naing Oo also added that a report disclosing the findings of studies made upon the MCL cement plant by the investigation committee will be presented to Mon State Hluttaw for discussion during a parliamentary session at the start of September.
The deputy speaker also revealed to Myitmakha News Agency that plans are in place for some of the proposals made in the Mon State Hluttaw, which urge the stopping of coal to power the plant, to be presented to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.