Petition against Krabi coal pier plan

Petition against Krabi coal pier plan

The stop Global Warming Association (SGWA) has filed a petition asking that the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) drop its plan to construct a coal-transportation pier in the seaside province of Krabi.

Egat would be building a pier in an environmentally protected zone, SGWA pointed out.

SGWA president Srisuwan Janya and 45 Krabi residents filed the petition with the Central Administrative Court yesterday.

"We will file another complaint against Egat later," Srisuwan added.

The complainants claim that the information provided by Egat was inconsistent.

They say that Egat's environmental impact assessment (EIA), which came out in March, stated that the deadweight tonnage of coal shipments passing through this route would be no more than 3,000 tonnes. However, this information was later changed to 10,000 tonnes, they said.

Srisuwan explained that Egat had also hidden information on how the project would affect local communities.

"People in this area deserve to be informed. They should get complete information on the project, not just parts of it," he said.

Meanwhile, Chariya Senpong, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said local people were only trying to protect their rights.

"After Egat made such a key change to the EIA, it is clear that past public hearings on the project were based on false information," she said.

The complainants have asked the Central Administrative Court to get the pier project cancelled, revoke the EIA, have the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry set up measures to protect the wetland and issue an injunction on the EIA process.

The chosen location for Egat's coal-transportation pier is around the Krabi River estuary, covering 133,200 rai.

This area is reportedly part of the wetland protected under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands, recognising the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value. This area was also marked out as a protected zone in 2001.

"It's necessary to protect this area because it is one of the last remaining seagrass sites in Thailand and home to dugongs. If this project is approved, the ecological system will die," Srisuwan said.

"Not only will this have an impact on the environment, it will also affect the livelihood of local fishermen."

He added that SGWA would file another petition -with the Central Administrative Court against Egat's plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Krabi.

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