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Clean air group calls out China-backed coal plant in Bangladesh

SpaceMan18

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Clean air group calls out China-backed coal plant in Bangladesh
The Environmental Impact Assessment on S Alam Group’s coal plant in Chattogram, Bangladesh omitted the potential impacts of mercury and some air pollutants and made misleading claims about the baseline air quality in the area, according to the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

China’s financing of overseas energy projects has declined and some of its decisions have run into opposition in recent years, including in 2020, when more than 20 NGOs called on Chinese banks to withdraw financial support for a coal-fired power plant under construction in Turkey [File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]

China’s financing of overseas energy projects has declined and some of its decisions have run into opposition in recent years, including in 2020, when more than 20 NGOs called on Chinese banks to withdraw financial support for a coal-fired power plant under construction in Turkey [File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]
By Bloomberg newsBloomberg
15 Jun 2021
A Chinese-backed coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh that’s been the site of deadly crackdowns on protests has now been accused of failing to ensure proper environmental inspections.
The Environmental Impact Assessment on S. Alam Group’s coal plant in Chattogram omitted the potential impacts of mercury and some air pollutants and made misleading claims about the baseline air quality in the area, according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. The Helsinki-based group said in a press release that it obtained the information from a publicly unavailable document provided by an unnamed government source.
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The accusations are the latest in a string of controversies over the plant that demonstrate the increasing opposition to new coal generators, even in developing nations with a power deficit. Environmental demonstrations at the outset of construction left several people dead in 2016, and police killed at least five in April during protests by workers over wages.
“Bangladesh lacks meaningful environmental regulation, as do many other countries hosting China-backed energy projects,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at CREA and author of the report. “Yet the Chinese government and state-owned financiers have failed to put in place environmental and social safeguards that would prevent project developers from exploiting weak or non-existent regulator oversight.”
The Bangladesh government approved the project following the country’s standards, said Mohammad Hossain, director general of Power Cell, the nation’s power industry regulator. “If there’s any new complaint about air-quality standards, we will surely look into it,” Hossain said in response to the allegations. “We haven’t received any complaint through the official channel.”
Environment Secretary Ziaul Hasan did not answer multiple phone calls for comment. Mohammed Saiful Alam, chairman and managing director of S. Alam Group, which has a 70% stake in the plant, declined to comment immediately when contacted by phone.
Shangdong Electric Power Construction Corp., which has a 20% stake, didn’t respond to an emailed request for comments. Bank of China and China Development Bank, part of a consortium of Chinese banks that provided a $1.8 billion loan for the project, also didn’t respond to emailed questions.
Protesters Shot
The project includes two 660-megawatt coal-fired steam generators in Banshkhali, south of the nation’s largest port, Chattogram (formerly Chittagong). During protests in 2016, before construction began, four demonstrators were shot and killed in a clash with police.
In April, workers began demanding back pay, a salary increase and half days of work on Fridays in negotiations with management. The protest quickly escalated into violence, with police shooting and killing at least five people. A Bangladesh court in May ordered S. Alam to pay 500,000 taka ($5,896) in initial compensation to the families of each of the dead workers.
The environmental assessment, which covers the first unit at the plant, says air quality around the site met national standards, allowing it to avoid more stringent environmental rules, CREA said. But samples taken for the assessment show pollutants exceeded those standards in every measure, the group said.
The plant will emit five times the level of sulfur dioxide and 10 times as much nitrous oxide as would be allowed in China, according to CREA.

CREA, along with the Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association and the Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt, are recommending Bangladesh strengthen oversight and enforcement of its environmental laws and incorporate public health impacts in assessments. They’re also calling on Chinese firms to align overseas investments with Xi Jinping’s climate goals, and to not exploit loopholes afforded by weak regulation.

China’s financing of overseas energy projects has declined and some of its decisions have run into opposition. Last year, more than 20 non-governmental organizations called on Chinese banks to withdraw financial support for a coal-fired power plant under construction in Turkey. China also financed $260 million for a coal-fired power project in Pakistan.
The investments contrast with a growing reluctance by other countries and organizations in Asia to continue to support coal power, the biggest polluter and producer of greenhouse gases in the energy industry. South Korea recently halted all state-backed financing for overseas coal projects, spurring the United Nations to call for other countries to do the same. The Asian Development Bank said last month it will end financing of coal projects.
China has attempted to make its investments more environmentally sustainable. In December, a Belt and Road Initiative coalition supervised by China’s environment ministry developed a color-coded classification to help assess overseas investment risks. China’s financing for foreign energy projects in 2020, including power plants, fell to the lowest since 2008 at $4.6 billion, according to Boston University’s Global Energy Finance Database.
China state bank chiefs have called for a gradual pullback of coal financing, stating at a forum last month that a quick withdrawal would lead to losses for both the banks and the borrowers. From July 1, China’s central bank will start grading the banks’ green finance business.
 

xuxu1457

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NGOs are mostly whores raised by interest groups.
Coal-fired power stations are the cheapest source of electricity for developing countries
And the picture is so misleading.Today's coal-fired power plants are very clean, removing sulphur and dust, emitting only carbon dioxide, and finally passing through cooling towers, where the white smoke is water vapor and carbon dioxide.
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Bilal9

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All a govt. needs to do is regulate and inspect plants for pollutant compliance.

You need cheap power.

All these advanced countries polluted the planet fine back in the sixties and seventies. Even in the eighties and nineties. They screwed up the ozone layer just fine back then. Damage is done.

Now that China and the rest of Asia is developing and getting richer than EU, they all of a sudden have become the sentry of the environment and the ozone layer.

These countries should pay carbon pollution penalties for all the polluting they did themselves back in the day (since the late 1800's, when Asia wasn't in the scene), and help Asian countries develop clean energy.

Pay up or shut the hell up.
 
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bluesky

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Clean air group calls out China-backed coal plant in Bangladesh
I ask this "Clean air group" to understand that a poor country BD should only cut its coat according to its clothing. A poor country must go through the phase of cheap coal-fired power plants until it becomes moderately rich to afford other cleaner sources of power.

It will fall into an economic trap if the country's govt starts fearing this non-civic nonsense group who have not read even the first page of the national economic development issue.

BD has only 29 such plants. It needs many more of this type of plant. BD has a huge reservoir of coal. So, it is imperative that we tap this resource and develop our economy.
 

SpaceMan18

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I ask this "Clean air group" to understand that a poor country BD should only cut its coat according to its clothing. A poor country must go through the phase of cheap coal-fired power plants until it becomes moderately rich to afford other cleaner sources of power.

It will fall into an economic trap if the country's govt starts fearing this non-civic nonsense group who have not read even the first page of the national economic development issue.

BD has only 29 such plants. It needs many more of this type of plant. BD has a huge reservoir of coal. So, it is imperative that we tap this resource and develop our economy.
True
 

Beast

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Coal doesn't mean high pollution. It's a matter of how you control the emittance. The big reason why China continue with coat power station becos we can contain and reduce emission by high percentage compare to previous decade of old coal power generate station with China own advance technology.

Plus the cost to operate is still much cheaper compare to renewable and nuclear power station
 

Bilal9

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I ask this "Clean air group" to understand that a poor country BD should only cut its coat according to its clothing. A poor country must go through the phase of cheap coal-fired power plants until it becomes moderately rich to afford other cleaner sources of power.

It will fall into an economic trap if the country's govt starts fearing this non-civic nonsense group who have not read even the first page of the national economic development issue.

BD has only 29 such plants. It needs many more of this type of plant. BD has a huge reservoir of coal. So, it is imperative that we tap this resource and develop our economy.
@bluesky bhai you have to deal with this EU countries carefully. They have us by the nutsack, controlling our exports to EU countries, same situation with all the poor countries in South Asia.

Only China is the exception, having a powerful large internal consumption-based economy.

In fact China recently passed legislation where EU and US sanctions can be reversed tit-for-tat. And some EU orgs like the German chambers are crying fowl.
 

Bilal9

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Coal doesn't mean high pollution. It's a matter of how you control the emittance. The big reason why China continue with coat power station becos we can contain and reduce emission by high percentage compare to previous decade of old coal power generate station with China own advance technology.

Plus the cost to operate is still much cheaper compare to renewable and nuclear power station
Bangladesh has built and is building several Japanese and Chinese-assisted coal-power projects (Ultra super critical technology).

Construction is ongoing of a coastal 1200 MW Japanese coal powerplant.

There is a Chinese coastal coal powerplant as well, recently completed (1200 MW) and supplying power to the grid.



Both powerplants were designed so that coal is efficiently burned and residual effluents were heavily scrubbed as they exit the smokestacks. The wind also carries any smoke toward the ocean, away from populated areas.

Both are Ultra super critical technology and more are in the pipeline (including several gas fired and one large Nuclear powerplant). Renewable powerplants are also being built - mainly solar farms at this time.
 

bluesky

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@bluesky bhai you have to deal with this EU countries carefully. They have us by the nutsack, controlling our exports to EU countries, same situation with all the poor countries in South Asia.

Only China is the exception, having a powerful large internal consumption-based economy.

In fact China recently passed legislation where EU and US sanctions can be reversed tit-for-tat. And some EU orgs like the German chambers are crying fowl.
Look at Germany. It is a great economy. But, still it has 70 coal-fired power plants. It, like all other countries, built this type of plant because it is cheaper to build and operate. The cost of per kWh power is much cheaper than other sources.

Electricity is basically for running the industries. With a higher per unit cost of power, the cost of production rises. BD has but only one industrial sector and with other kinds of power, the production cost will become uncompetitive.

BD has to build so many industries of different kinds with the money it earns from the textile sector. Everything will thus be ruined. I have somewhere read Hasina was talking about phasing out coal-powered plants and has probably decided to stop its further building.

It will certainly ruin our prospect to develop. Germany below from the wiki:

"Germany still has more than 40 plants that run on hard coal that is imported, mainly from Russia, and about 30 that run on lignite. Coal was used to produce 28 percent of the country's electricity last year".
 

Bilal9

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Look at Germany. It is a great economy. But, still it has 70 coal-fired power plants. It, like all other countries, built this type of plant because it is cheaper to build and operate. The cost of per kWh power is much cheaper than other sources.

Electricity is basically for running the industries. With a higher per unit cost of power, the cost of production rises. BD has but only one industrial sector and with other kinds of power, the production cost will become uncompetitive.

BD has to build so many industries of different kinds with the money it earns from the textile sector. Everything will thus be ruined. I have somewhere read Hasina was talking about phasing out coal-powered plants and has probably decided to stop its further building.

It will certainly ruin our prospect to develop. Germany below from the wiki:

"Germany still has more than 40 plants that run on hard coal that is imported, mainly from Russia, and about 30 that run on lignite. Coal was used to produce 28 percent of the country's electricity last year".
You are right @bluesky bhai. If Germany and Japan could run older coal powerplants efficiently, then there is hope that Bangladesh also can. More over for the newer coal powerplants we are using Ultra supercritical technology which is a lot less polluting. We just have to ensure that the pollution control in the plants are inspected and maintained per global pollution standards such as ISO, EPA and whatever the EU suggests.

I don't know if you know - but Germans (Siemens mainly) supplied the equipment for the Ashuganj powerplant which ran for a good five decades, although planned obsolescence was for only three decades.
 

bluesky

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I don't know if you know - but Germans (Siemens mainly) supplied the equipment for the Ashuganj powerplant which ran for a good five decades, although planned obsolescence was for only three decades.
Germany is Germany, and Seimens is Seimens. Even the Japanese respect German technologies. Note also that Japanese companies built also many fertilizer/chemical factories in BD that are still running after seven decades. Factories they built in Korea are still running after about a century.

Both these countries' people are workaholics, do not understand jokes, and are full-time serious in everything they do. Probably, it is because of the past military traditions they follow that have created these two special breeds of the human population so different from others.

No wonder, Hitler liked Japanese although Asian.
 
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