Locals reject consultation on Burma’s divisive Tasang Dam project

SMEC, the Australian company carrying out the environmental and social impact assessment (EIA/SIA) for Shan State’s Tasang Dam will be unable to produce a meaningful EIA/SIA because it has allowed relations with locals to deteriorate irreversibly.

The planned 282 meter high Tasang Dam in Mong Ton Township on the Upper Salween River will not only be the largest of seven dams planned for the Salween River in Burma (also known as Myanmar), it will also be the highest dam in Southeast Asia.

Coal power projects to be delayed

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 11 coal-fired power plants was signed between the Ministry of Electric Power (MOEP) and local and international private companies in 2010, and other new coal power projects are also in the planning stage.

But none of the projects has yet moved forward due to wide opposition from civil society groups and local residents, who are concerned with social and environmental issues.

“There is no progress regarding coal-fired power plants. At the moment, ministers are no longer meeting with the developers of coal projects,” said an official from MOEP.