Since the Hongsa Power Plant uses “lignite” – a low-quality coal – as fuel,
what assurance is there, that there will be no adverse impact on the environment and surrounding communities – including the Thai community in Nan province?
“Lignite” is classified as a “low”-quality coal, as it has lower heat content than
bituminous and anthracite coal. However, this doesn’t mean that lignite is low in
all aspects of quality. Conversely, while the lignite coal in other
areas could have sulfur content as high as up to 2-3 weight percent; the lignite coal in Hongsa district is found to have low sulfur content of only around 0.6-0.7 weight percent – even lower than that of imported coal from Indonesia and Australia.
Power generating machinery used in the Hongsa Power Plant is of state-of-the- art technology, and environmentally friendly. Research on fuel characteristics relating to waste from the power generating process, and the waste amount specified in the Concession Agreement, are taken into account as conditions for the design of the Power Plant since the very beginning. Thus, the waste management system and technology, as well as the waste monitoring system can be ensured of optimal efficiency in line with the specified requirements. However, in the test run, if the machinery fails to achieve required standards, the Government of Lao will not allow the machinery operations until appropriate
corrective actions are implemented.