MCL criticised for failing to consult with public

Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) failed to meet with local residents while completing its latest environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its $400 million cement factory project, according to Mon State’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

“This new EIA is just like the one from 2013. They have not held any meetings with local residents,” said Mon State’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dr Min Kyi Win.

The MCL submitted an EIA for the project to the Myanmar Investment Commission in 2013, but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment instructed the company to resubmit the report due to insufficient information.

MCL submitted a revised EIA including information on rock quarrying, factory operations and the use of a coal-fired plant in energy production, along with an initial environmental examination (IEE) to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment this month.

Additionally, Union Minister of Natural Resources and Environment U Ohn Win visited the cement factory on June 24.

Resident of Mei Ka Yo area Nai Shwe Win said “we heard about the union minister’s visit to the factory but we don’t know what he has inspected”.

“We went to the factory after hearing about his visit, but he already left,” Nai Shwe Win said.

According to Nai Shwe Win, the residents of Kun Ngan, Kawt Dun and Kawt Pa Naw areas will continue to protest if the MCL cement factory uses a coal-fired plant in the Pyar Taung area.

The MCL cement factory project has already attracted major opposition from local residents including a protest of some 7,000 people near the site in February.

MCL is a joint venture between Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Pacific Link Cement Industries.

Construction of the factory began in 2013 and it started commercial production in April this year. It is currently producing 5,000 tonnes of cement per day.