Monday, 27 October 2014

Shenzhan Energy Group Must Explain Proposed Takoradi Coal-Fired Power Plant's "European Emmission Standards" Claims

Not too long ago, the chairperson of Ghana's Parliament's Select Committee on Mines and  Energy, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, made an astonishing statement - apparently that genius is "passionate" about "coal-fired power plants". Amazing.

 Well, to be charitable, we must assume that perhaps the highly-intelligent Dr. Kwabena Donkor, is unaware of the poor air quality that so many cities in China, including its capital Beijing, are grappling with, as we speak - and the deleterious effect it has on the health of millions of residents of those cities.

 As widely acknowledged in that country itself, emmissions from China's many  coal-fired power plants are a major contributory factor to the poor air-quality, in many Chinese cities. Dr. Kwabena Donkor and Co must not be dismissive of that reality.

The health of the residents of Takoradi and its environs must not be sacrificed on the altar of private profit for a greedy and powerful few - and ought to be a matter of concern to Dr. Kwabena Donkor and Co, in this particular matter.

 I have culled and included two articles from Earthlife Africa, and the Daily Graphic, in today's posting.

Based on those culled articles, one has a few questions that if answered satisfactorily by Dr. Kwabena Donkor, and the Sunon Asogli Power Company's chairperson, Mr. Xi Xiaohai, would reassure those of us who foresee recurring public protests in the area where Sunon Asogli will site its proposed coal-fired power plant in Takoradi - similar to those staged by communities suffering from the harmful effects of emmissions from Eskom's coal-fired power plants in South Africa's high veld.

In the Daily Graphic story by Samuel Doe Ablordeppey, Mr. Xi Xiaohai is reported to have stated that the proposed coal-fired power plant his company intends to build at Takoradi, will be designed "using the more environmentally friendly European emission standards", which apparently have "zero discharge".

The question then is: is one to assume that  he is referring to the June 25, 2009, China-EU Near-Zero Emissions Coal (NZEC) project, the aim of which is to develop and demonstrate carbon storage (CCS) technologies for capture and storage of CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants by 2020 - to paraphrase the European Commission's statement on the subject posted on its website?

 If that is the case, where exactly will Mr. Xi Xiahaohai's company store its captured CO2 from its proposed Takoradi coal-fired power plant, to avoid CO2 being discharged into the atmosphere? Are there any exploited gas or oilfields off our shores, if any, which  his company has identified and secured for such a purpose?

If, on the other hand, his company has not identified any exploited gas or oilfields, but has rather identified sealed geological strata that it will use for captured CO2 storage, can he share that information digitally with the rest of the world, as evidence of his company's seriousness -  and commitment to a policy of transparency in all aspects of this particular project?

Finally, will the project be financed from the company's own cash reserves or funded under the June 25, 2009, Communication on Demonstrating Carbon Capture and Geological Storage in emerging economies and fast-growing developing countries, with reference to phases 2 and 3 of the China-EU NZEC and the UK equivalent?

It is important that Mr. Xi Xiaohai and Dr. Kwabena Donkor explain fully, the Sunon Asogli Power Company's chairperson's reference to "European standards",  and his  claim that his company will build a "zero discharge" coal-fired power plant at Takoradi - when there is general consensus around the world that there is no such thing as a "zero-emission" coal-fired power plant: and that CCS technology will only be available around 2020 at the earliest.

 If they fail to do so, some of us are determined to mount an international social media campaign, with the help of Avaaz.com, to expose their perfidy to the world.

In an age when activities of even the most powerful of multinationals that cause pollution in the remotest backwaters of the developing world, can be exposed globally, by the click of a computer mouse,  or the send-key of a smartphone or tablet, they must not think they can remain impervious to reason in this matter,  and get away with it, without suffering any reputational damage. They had better pay heed to us. A word to the wise...

Please read on:

"Protesters demanding an end to world bank ‘s coal financing

Protesters outside the gates of World Bank in Tshwane, raising concerns redarding the coal pollution from Eskom’s coal fired power stations Funded by the World Bank.

In 2010, The World Bank lent Eskom 3.75 billion dollars to build the Medupi coal fired power station. Medupi was meant to be fitted with ‘flue gas desulphurisation‘ (FGD), which is a set of technologies used to remove sulphur dioxide in power plants.

 However, with approval from The World Bank, Eskom sought to exempt itself for most of its fleet of coal-fired power stations from South African air quality regulations and is delaying FGD at Medupi for several years.

 This means Medupi, which will be one of the world’s biggest coal-power stations with an output of 4 800 megawatts, will kill an average of 1.4 people a year from it’s unregulated emissions. [1]

Here are impressions of the protest:
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