THE COAL AGENDA

NOGAT COAL IN PNG CAMPAIGN RELEASES NEW REPORT

A newly launched report by the Centre For Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) and Jubilee Australia Research Centre, supported by 350 Pacific, released on the 22nd September 2020, has raised some significant concerns about a proposal from an ASX listed Australian energy company, Mayur Resources, to build the Pacific’s first coal-fired power station in Papua New Guinea.

Mayur’s plan to build a 52MW coal-fired power station in the second largest city in Papua New Guinea has been touted as a ‘suicide mission’ that will put a lot of lives in danger.

The major findings of the report are;

  • The proposed coal-fired power station at Lae would not improve electricity access for the population of PNG
  • The World Bank’s analysis suggests that the cost of producing coal at the proposed Lae power station would be more expensive than the major renewable alternatives: hydro-power and biomass. It would also be more costly than highlands-produced natural gas, which would still be carbon polluting, although less so than coal.
  • The health impacts of putting a large coal-fired power plant so close to a major population centre such as Lae would be substantial. The air pollution from the coal combustion will likely cause severe health impacts, including breathing difficulties, brain damage, heart problems, cancer, and neurological disorders. 
  • The lack of proper consultation with impacted communities is a major concern. Consultation with the nearby community, who will live right next to the proposed plant, has been insufficient. 
  • There have been irregularities in the approvals process, especially the lack of a tender for the power plant and approval of a clearly deficient EIS.
  • Starting a coal industry to help meet PNG’s energy needs is entirely unnecessary. PNG already sources much of its energy from hydro and is developing more hydro-power plants. 
  • A 200MW coal-fired power station would increase PNG’s carbon emissions by around 4 per cent.

These key findings indicate that the disadvantages are much more than the advantages. Thus, the report recommends that;

  • PNG Power should immediately reject Mayur’s proposal for a Power Purchasing Agreement for the Lae coal-fired power station,
  • CEPA (the Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority) should reverse its decision to approve the Lae project’s environmental permit.

The launch of this report also coincided with the launch of the NOGAT COAL in PNG Campaign website, in which the report can be accessed there as well as a Petition which urges the government of the day to, A. OFFICIALLY REJECT Mayur’s proposal for the coal-fired power plant in Lae and B. IMPLEMENT a ban on coal in PNG. Concerned citizens and partners in PNG and abroad are urged to sign the petition to support the call to ban coal in PNG.

For more information or progress of the NOGAT COAL IN PNG CAMPAIGN click on the links given;

1. CELCOR

2. Jubilee Australia Research Centre

3. Nogat Coal PNG

Or visit the website www.nogatcoal.org

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