Saturday, August 10, 2013

UMEHL consult villagers to build oil refinery in Dawei

The Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL) and Htoo Company had a meeting with local villagers from Longlon Township on August 2 to discuss plans to construct an oil refinery in Dawei District, Taninthayi Region of lower Myanmar.

“We held a discussion with the villagers from Nyin Maw village where the plant will be built, officials from the companies and the group who will carry out the project's environmental and social impact assessment. The company and UMEHL explained about the construction of a refinery plant and the locals also inquired what they wanted to know because they don’t want any impacts of the business on their environment," said Thant Zin from Dawei Development Committee.

He added that the oil refinery would need 1,000 tons of fresh water an hour and that they would dam the Tha Phar waterfall near the project to get the required fresh water.
"The fresh water is getting without fees. The construction is a major project because it needs 1,000 tone of fresh water. The locals worried about the water shortage when the dam is being constructed. So we need to explain the locals about the construction of the dam," Thant Zin added.

Local residents worried about the environmental pollution created by the waste products of refining crude oil. Although the waste would only constitute 0.5 percent of total output, of a total of five million tonnes of oil that would mean about 25,000 tons of waste.

"The locals urged the company to reveal the ongoing of construction plans. Do they accept the project asked by the monk from Lay Thon Khan village?  The villagers replied that they don’t need. Finally, the company promised them they don’t make the project if the villagers will not accept," said Thant Zin.

The UMEHL and Htoo Company will begin oil refinery importing the crude oil from the Middle East. The UMEHL had bought an oil-palm farm and about 1,600 acres of oil-palm factory owned by the Ministry of Industry with 2.600 billion Kyats near Nyin Maw village in last year to build the oil refinery plant. Nyin Maw village where the plant to be built is located near Longlone Township is about 15 miles from Dawei Township and over 70 houses with 400 people live there.