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  • What measures has the Hongsa Power Plant project taken, to ensure that environmental practices are implemented efficiently to yield desirable results as stipulated in the concession contract?

    What measures has the Hongsa Power Plant project taken, to ensure that environmental practices are implemented efficiently to yield desirable results as stipulated in the concession contract?

    The supervision structure for the project’s environmental practices is very rigorous and strict. The Government of Lao set up the Environmental Management Unit (EMU) to specifically supervise the project’s environmental performance, with on-site officers to undertake inspection of all environmental activities and, on a monthly basis, report to their supervisors – both at the district and central levels. The EMU’s Joint Steering Committee (JSC) – with Minister of Energy and Mining as chairperson; as well as Deputy Minister of Natural Resource and Environment, and Governor of Sayaboury Province as vice chairpersons – closely monitors the progress, and regularly holds conferences to not only review and solve problems, but also provide suggestions for compliance. Therefore, the project’s environmental practices are guaranteed to be compliant of the standards specified by European consultants in the concession contract.

  • How much confidence does HPC have in the Hongsa Power Plant project that it will not pose any adverse impact on the environment and the community, as in the case of Mae Moh Power Plant?

    How much confidence does HPC have in the Hongsa Power Plant project that it will not pose any adverse impact on the environment and the community, as in the case of Mae Moh Power Plant?

    HPC is convinced that the Hongsa Power Plant project will be able to fully comply with social and environmental conditions stated in the Concession Agreement. The Company has conducted research on fuel, as basis for the design of the Power Plant and the adoption of technology, to prevent negative impact at the source. In addition, we have clearly established preventive and corrective guidelines, which were approved by European experts serving as consultants of the Government of Lao.

  • What types of pollution control equipment are installed in the Hongsa Power Plant?

    What types of pollution control equipment are installed in the Hongsa Power Plant?

    Pollution control equipment installed in the Power Plant include: ? Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD), which can effectively remove 92% of sulfur dioxide from the power production process. Owing it to the fact that the coal in Hongsa district has very low sulfur content (0.7%), the coal combustion releases much less sulfur dioxide. ? Electrostatic Static Precipitator, which can remove up to 99.83% of dust particles from the power production process. This equipment helps reduce air pollution to the lowest possible level that causes no harm to the environment and living beings, both in the project area and nearby – including the area in Nan province. ? 24-hour air quality measurement and monitoring system, consisting of the Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) and three stations of Air Quality Monitoring System (AQMS) that are linked directly to the Power Plant’s control room.

  • 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?

    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.

  • In terms of environmental impact study and assessment, what does the Hongsa Power Plant project have to carry out?

    In terms of environmental impact study and assessment, what does the Hongsa Power Plant project have to carry out?

    The Hongsa Power Plant project has to develop Environmental Management Plans (EMPs), and keep updating them in accordance with the changing operational activities. In the construction phase, the Construction Phase Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan (CPEMMP) has to be revised and updated every two years. In the operations phase, the Operation Phase Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan (OPEMMP) has to be revised and updated every five years; in addition, the Mine Rehabilitation and Closure Plan also has to be prepared. All the revised plans have to be proposed to the Government of Lao’s Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (MONRE) for approval.

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