What will the effect of the explosions be to the general public?
The coal mining in Hongsa district uses non-explosive excavation methods. Due to the soft soil, excavation can be carried out using excavators, which can load coal straight onto the conveyor belt that runs directly into the Power Plant.
What are the chances of wastewater from the coal-washing process
contaminate surface and ground water, which might cause harm to the
The coal from Hongsa district requires no coal washing, as layers of soil and
coal are clearly separated. Only rain and underground water is present in the
mine. This water needs to be pumped through a series of on-site treatment
ponds, to lower the acid and alkaline levels. Then, the water will be passed
through a large wetland of 230 Rai (370,000 square meters), over 3 kilometers
long, where different types of water plants help filter sediments and absorb
heavy metals. After going through this natural water treatment system, the water
will meet the discharged water quality standards specified by the Government of
Lao in the Concession Agreement. However, to ensure of best results, HPC has
undertaken water quality monitoring on a continuous basis.
How far is the coal mine located from the community?
Based on linear distance from the east edge of the mine pit to the border of the
communities, the coal mine is located:
• 1.16 kilometers from Ban Champa, the nearest community
• 1.78 kilometers from Ban Si Mong Kun
• 2.8 kilometers from Muang Hongsa Market (Ban Phon Sa-ard)
There is a 20-meter-high protective Earth Bund constructed between the
concession area (Power Plant and mine sites) and the communities.
Since the excavation, has there been any self-combustion of coal taking place at the mine mouth?
Since 2010 when the excavation was commenced, there has been no case of
self-combustion at the mine mouth, nor at the mining sites. Due to continuous
risk assessment and monitoring measures, the chance for self-combustion at the mine mouth is very minimal. However, HPC established an ‘Emergency Team’ to
deal with fires and other emergencies. The team is well-trained and has
extensive experience. They undergo emergency drills on a regular basis, and
are equipped with all the necessary fire-fighting equipment.
How is the air pollution level from Hongsa Power Plant?
The Power Plant is required to have air pollution levels that conform to specified standards. The Government of Lao has adopted the environmental standards set
by IFC, a member of World Bank Group, as the benchmark for the disposal of smoke emissions resulting from the coal combustion process. These standards are clearly stated in the Concession Agreement.