I’ve recently discovered that Krabi will have another coal-fired power plant built in Nuea Khlong sub district, which is located in the same site of the current power plant. The coal will be transported through Hin Daeng – Hin Mueng dive sites off the coast of Koh Lanta to dock at Krabi power plant’s pier. I’ve personally never been to these dive sites, but I’ve heard they are absolutely amazing! And this power plant will have severe impacts on the ecosystems, tourism and health. The coal to be used is bituminous coal. This so-called “clean coal” means that it has had its impurities removed by cleaning or washing. However, it does not mean that when the coal is burned, it will not cause pollution. The power plant has a coal stockpile. When it rains, the rain water (contaminated with the coal fine particles and chemicals) will be washed out to the sea. When the coal is burned, it fills the air with toxic chemicals, acid rain and particulate matter such as fly ash.
Marine tourism will surely be on the decline when a coal pier is built and navigation channel dredging is carried out. Coral reefs, marine life diversity and coasting fishing will be adversely affected and destroyed. Air pollution expelled in the atmosphere will create acid rain, which negatively affects agriculture. Oil palm trees will yield fewer fruits or none at all while their roots will grow poorly in acid soil. The weather in the power plant’s surrounding area will have increased temperatures throughout the year. Because of the low humidity level, rubber trees will lose their leaves and latex production will decline.
Krabi’s Nuea Khlong district is a floodplain and coastal area, where its mangrove ecosystems and wetlands are very rich. The largest area of sea grass beds is situated between Koh Pu and Koh Si Bo Ya. According to the information of the department of Marine and Coastal resources, the whole area is home to dugongs, which will be affected by the coal transport. The ecosystems of sea turtles, dolphins and shrimp breeding grounds will also be harmed. Since the areas between Koh Pu and Koh Si Bo Ya plays a significant role in sustaining the areas’ tourism, fishermen’s livelihood and marine animals’ food source, building a coal transport route through there is completely inappropriate and is not a cost-effective way of investing in a power plant at the expense of such valuable natural resources.