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Her Excellency Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand
Mr.Plodprasop Suraswadi, Deputy Prime Ministers
Mr. Sutas Patamasiriwat, Governor of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand(EGAT)
Mr. Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Mr. Santi Boonprakub, Secretary – General, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP)
Mr. Pongsak Ruktapongpisal, Minister of Energy
Dr. Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Minister of Foreign Affairs
May 28, 2013
Subject : Concerns Over Possible Threats from a 870 MW coal-fired power plant project to Krabi Estuary (Ramsar site no.1100) one of the Wetlands of International Importance
On behalf of local community in Krabi province and civil society working on the protection of wetlands in Thailand, we are writing to you with the recognition that Thailand, as the Member State under Ramsar convention, has committed to implementing the “three pillars” of the Convention: to designate suitable wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance (“Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management; to work towards the wise use of all their wetlands through national land-use planning, appropriate policies and legislation, management actions, and public education; and to cooperate internationally concerning transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems, shared species, and development projects that may affect wetlands.
We would like to inform you and express our grave concerns on the possible negative impacts to Krabi Estuary’s ecological character from a 870 MW Coal-fired Power Plant Project proposed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).
The proposed coal power project is set to be constructed in 2015 at Tambol Pakasai , Nhua Khlong district, one of Krabi’s important estuaries. Aside from the known negative effects of coal plant emissions, the power plant that will be built in the area adjacent to Thailand’s second largest seagrass ecosystem, part of the Krabi Estuary categorized as Wetlands of International Importance under Ramsar Convention. Once built, this important wetland area will be the transport zone for toxic coal shipments.
According to Environmental and Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) of proposed coal-fired power plant, at least 2.3 million tonnes of coal would be imported from Indonesia, Australia and/or South Africa every year. Shipment of imported coal to the planned Krabi coal plant would require transshipment at sea. A 50,000-100,000 DWT Coal Carrier would have to anchor at sea 66 kilometer far from the location of proposed coal plant, and then unload coal into a smaller coal barge. It would need a huge inland wharf to accommodate two coal barges come along side at the same time to unload coal to the coal yard. This coal transshipment would add to the massive dredging, dumping and shipping which is turning our fishing grounds, sea grass beds and mangroves into a coal superhighway.
We believe that the planned Krabi coal plant, once it is built, will undermine the Convention’s mission that is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
As a concerned citizen of Thailand we bring the issue to the Ramsar Convention Secretariat so that this will be informed at the earliest possible time as the ecological character of Krabi Estuary is under threat from the development of dirty energy project. We also keep Thailand’s Office of Natural Resource and Environmental Policy Planning(ONEP) as a responsible government body informed.
Lastly we would like to hear from you if there is any action taken to keep spirit, mission and commitment of Ramsar Convention alive with regards to Krabi Estuary – one of the Ramsar Site of International Importance.
Pakasai Protection Group, Krabi Province
Office of Village Headman, Moo 4, Tambol Pakasai,
Nuea Klong District, Krabi Province 81130