Stand-off in Maptaphut: Rainbow Warrior protests at Belgian-owned coal power plant

Feature story - July 15, 2008
Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior today staged a peaceful protest against the expansion of a Belgian-owned coal power plant in Mapthaphut, Rayong province in Thailand, anchoring a few meters off the coal wharf and unfurling banners saying “Quit Coal” and ”Coal = Climate Change”. The ship was greeted by tug boats and coal plant personnel who fired water cannons as it entered the coal port.

Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior staged a peaceful protest against the expansion of a Belgian-owned coal power plant in Mapthaphut, Rayong 250Kms east of Bangkok, July 15, 2008, anchoring a few meters off the coal wharf and unfurling banners saying "Quit Coal" and "Coal = Climate Change". The ship was greeted by tug boats and coal plant personnel who fired water cannons as it entered the coal port. Greenpeace has slammed the hypocrisy of European countries on the issue of climate change. The environment group demanded that construction of the new 660 MW GHECO-one coal power plant owned by GLOW Energy be stopped because it will increase Thailand's carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior staged a peaceful protest against the expansion of a Belgian-owned coal power plant in Mapthaphut, Rayong 250Kms east of Bangkok, July 15, 2008, anchoring a few meters off the coal wharf and unfurling banners saying "Quit Coal" and "Coal = Climate Change". The ship was greeted by tug boats and coal plant personnel who fired water cannons as it entered the coal port. Greenpeace has slammed the hypocrisy of European countries on the issue of climate change. The environment group demanded that construction of the new 660 MW GHECO-one coal power plant owned by GLOW Energy be stopped because it will increase Thailand's carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior staged a peaceful protest against the expansion of a Belgian-owned coal power plant in Mapthaphut, Rayong 250Kms east of Bangkok, July 15, 2008, anchoring a few meters off the coal wharf and unfurling banners saying "Quit Coal" and "Coal = Climate Change". The ship was greeted by tug boats and coal plant personnel who fired water cannons as it entered the coal port. Greenpeace has slammed the hypocrisy of European countries on the issue of climate change. The environment group demanded that construction of the new 660 MW GHECO-one coal power plant owned by GLOW Energy be stopped because it will increase Thailand's carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior staged a peaceful protest against the expansion of a Belgian-owned coal power plant in Mapthaphut, Rayong 250Kms east of Bangkok, July 15, 2008, anchoring a few meters off the coal wharf and unfurling banners saying "Quit Coal" and "Coal = Climate Change". The ship was greeted by tug boats and coal plant personnel who fired water cannons as it entered the coal port. Greenpeace has slammed the hypocrisy of European countries on the issue of climate change. The environment group demanded that construction of the new 660 MW GHECO-one coal power plant owned by GLOW Energy be stopped because it will increase Thailand's carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior staged a peaceful protest against the expansion of a Belgian-owned coal power plant in Mapthaphut, Rayong province in Thailand, July 15, 2008, anchoring a few meters off the coal wharf and unfurling banners saying “Quit Coal” and ”Coal = Climate Change”. The ship was greeted by tug boats and coal plant personnel who fired water cannons as it entered the coal port. Greenpeace has slammed the hypocrisy of European countries on the issue of climate change. The environment group demanded that construction of the new 660 MW GHECO-one coal power plant owned by GLOW Energy be stopped because it will increase Thailand's carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

Water cannons are fired as Greenpeace activists on inflatables unfurl banners at Mapthaput port, Rayong 250 Kms east of Bangkok. Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior today staged a peaceful protest against the expansion of a Belgian-owned coal power plant in Mapthaphut, Rayong province in Thailand, anchoring a few meters off the coal wharf and unfurling banners saying “Quit Coal” and ”Coal = Climate Change”. The ship was greeted by tug boats and coal plant personnel who fired water cannons as it entered the coal port. Greenpeace has slammed the hypocrisy of European countries on the issue of climate change. The environment group demanded that construction of the new 660 MW GHECO-one coal power plant owned by GLOW Energy be stopped because it will increase Thailand's carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

    Greenpeace has slammed the hypocrisy of European countries on the issue of climate change. The environment group demanded that construction of the new 660 MW GHECO-one coal power plant owned by GLOW Energy be stopped because it will increase Thailand's carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

"No other coal power plant should ever be built as we face mankind's worst crisis - climate change. Thailand is predicted to suffer the effect of sea-level rise and extreme weather events. Therefore, we should do our utmost to stop the climate crisis, starting with the cancellation of this proposed coal power plant," said Tara Buakamsri, Campaign Manager of Greenpeace Southeast

Asia.

The planned 660MW GHECO-one coal power plant is an expansion unit of GLOW's existing 550MW coal power plant. GHECO-one is a joint venture between GLOW Energy Plc and Hemaraj Land and Development Plc. GLOW is majority owned by Belgium-based Suez Energy International, part of the largest energy consortium in Western Europe.

The company has claimed in its press statement that the planned coal plant will be the cleanest coal-fired power plant in the world and will reduce overall emissions.

Burning coal is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and a major cause of climate change. Coal emits 29% more carbon per unit of energy than oil and 80% more than gas. The existing GLOW plant already emits 4,003,432 tons of CO2 per year.

"It is ridiculous to claim that burning coal can ever be clean. The European Union committed to drastically reduce carbon emissions by as much as 30 percent by 2020. It is total hypocrisy then that a European company would build one of the largest CO2 emitters in Thailand," said Mareike Britten, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace International.

After campaigning in New Zealand and Philippines, the Rainbow Warrior is in Thailand to spearhead the Greenpeace "Quit Coal, Lead the Energy [R]evolution Tour". The tour aims to promote solutions to stop climate change -- an energy revolution that heralds a massive shift to renewable energy to ensure energy security and peace.

Over 3000 citizens of Thailand have already endorsed Greenpeace petition to the Ministry of Energy demanding rejection of coal, nuclear and fossil-fuel energy systems, and seeking investment in the development of renewable energy in Thailand.

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