The Nogat Coal alliance has welcomed Mayur Resources’ decision to pause plans to build Papua New Guinea’s first coal-fired power plant. But they are calling for the Australian mining company to completely cancel the project, as well as plans to use coal to power its Central Cement and Limestone project in Papa Lea Lea.
Evelyn Wohuinangu, Acting Executive Director at the Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights, said:
“Mayur’s decision to pause their plans for a coal power plant at Lae, and shift focus to renewables, is an important step. We strongly urge them to do away with coal entirely, including from their Central Cement and Limestone project in Papa Lea Lea. They must not bring this hazardous industry to PNG.
“A report released by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air last month found that air pollution from the proposed coal power plant would increase deaths and illness in the surrounding communities.
“Over the 30 years that the 52 megawatt power plant would likely run for, it would result in 30 premature deaths, 890 years of lives lost and 5900 sick days off work. Even worse, Mayur’s plans to eventually expand the power plant to 200 megawatts would see health impacts spike.
“The Australian company must commit to dropping coal from all projects, once and for all, if PNG is to avoid these preventable deaths as well as those caused by the most disastrous effects of the climate crisis.
“Our country is developing hydropower, biomass and solar power plants to meet our energy needs. If Mayur decides to move forward with their coal plans, they will undo the progress we’ve made towards a cleaner and safer future.”
Luke Fletcher, Executive Director at Jubilee Australia Research Centre, said:
“It’s good news that after years of campaigning by Nogat Coal, Mayur has finally hit pause on their long-standing plans for a coal-fired power plant in Lae.
“By acting now and dropping coal from their strategy completely, Mayur can avoid the risk of stranded assets and make a solid pivot to renewables, which are the energy sources of the future.
“The world is moving away from coal, and an Australian company should not force it onto the people of PNG. People in Australia don’t want coal on our own continent ‒ 82% support a phase-out of coal-fired power stations ‒ and we certainly shouldn’t push it on our neighbours.”
Nogat Coal: No Coal In PNG is a campaign aiming to stop Australian company Mayur Resources from starting a coal industry in Papua New Guinea. The campaign is a collaboration between PNG’s Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) and Nogat Coal, and Jubilee Australia Research Centre.
Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) is a not-for-profit PNG public interest environmental law firm, which gives legal help to landowners and community-based organisations. It also conducts policy research and advocates for environmental justice.
Jubilee Australia Research Centre is an Australian not-for-profit organisation engaging in research and advocacy to promote economic justice for communities in the Asia-Pacific region and accountability for Australian corporations and government agencies operating there.