Vietnam Vinh Tan 3 Power Station

Capacity: 1980 MW

Location: Vình Tân, Bình Thun province, Vietnam

Sponsors: OneEnergy Ventures Limited (a 50:50 joint venture between Hong Kong based CLP Holdings and Diamond Generating Asia, a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp) 49%, Electricity of Vietnam Group 29%, Thai Binh Duong Group 22%.

ICBC Finance: China Development Bank, Bank of Communications, ICBC, China Construction Bank, and Bank of China agreed to provide US$2 billion in loan.

EPC company: Harbin Electric, Energy China Engineering Guangdong Power Engineering Co.

Status: Pipeline

Projected in service: For Units 1-2 in 2025, and for Unit 3 in 2026

Vinh Tan 3 Coal Power Project is a part of a large Vinh Tan complex in the Vình Tân commune. The complex consists of five thermal power projects: Vinh Tan 1,2,3,4 and expanded Vinh Tan 4. The total capacity of the power complex is 6244 MW. Except for Vinh Tan 3, other coal plants are under operation. ICBC has been involved in financing Vinh Tan 1 and Vinh Tan 3.   In January 2020, HSBC announced that it had withdrawn as a financial advisor to the project. In February 2021, Mitsubishi announced that it was withdrawing from Vinh Tan-3, the first time Mitsubishi has withdrawn from a coal plant project. It now appears a potential Chinese company has secured an agreement with the Vietnamese government to move forward the project

Environment and social problems: (Vinh Tan 1 and Vinh Tan 3)

  • Local biodiversity: Coal for the plant will be imported via a deep seaport, and there are concerns that the construction of the port, dumping of ash waste and the discharge of cooling water will endanger aquatic life, threatening the marine ecosystem. Of particular concern was the 12,500 hectares Hon Cau Marine Reserve, a spawning ground for shrimp, fish, and sea turtles, and home to 34 rare and endangered species.
  • Air pollution: Toxic ash and noxious fumes emitted from the complex (units 1, 2,4) already reportedly cause people in surrounding communities to report feeling chronically ill and unable to breathe.
  • Climate change: Once in operation, Vinh Tan 3 would be estimated to emit over 11 million tonnes of CO2 each year, undermining the efforts of Vietnam to meet the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.

Local oppositions:

  • In March 2019, Vietnam’s State Audit Agency found that the 1200 MW Vinh Tan 1 plant had violated environmental laws. Violations included discharging cooling water into the sea without approval from the Environment Ministry, poor monitoring of wastewater, and nitrogen oxide emissions in excess of permit limits. It also found that the plant had limited coal ash storage capacity.
  • In July 2017, 13 civic groups, including the Vietnam Rivers Network, the Sustainable Energy Alliance and the Sea Life Conservation Center — signed a petition against dumping the dredging waste into Binh Thuan waters. The groups argued that the plan to dump the sediment was made without the consent of the public and scientists and without a transparent environmental impact assessment. The petition also cited what the groups said was a record of pollution incidents caused by the four thermal power plants of Vinh Tan.

Turkey EMBA Hunutlu Power Station

Capacity: 1320 MW

Location: Yumurtalik, at the Iskenderun Bay area, district of Adana in Turkey.

Sponsor: Emba Electricity Production, a joint venture between China’s Shanghai Electric Power (78.21%), Avic-International Project Engineering Company (2.99%), and two private persons: Mete Bülgün, CEO of the EMBA Electricity Production Company (9.4%), and Adnan Demir (9.4%). 

ICBC Finance: In April 2020, it received a 15-year, $1.38 billion loans from the China Development Bank, Bank of China and ICBC. ICBC provided $460.3 million.

Construction company: CLP Power Engineering

Status: construction, started in Sep.2019

Projected in service: 2022

GHG emission annually: 8833 K ton

The Emba Hunutlu project is a planned 1,320MW coal power plant in Yumurtalik, at the Iskenderun Bay area, district of Adana in Turkey. The region is already beset with numerous coal plants, with heavy air and soil pollution.  As China’s largest direct investment in Turkey, the project received its permit in 2015 and now is under construction. A recent analysis on the economic feasibility of Hunutlu reveals that:

    • When the investment cost of Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant is taken as $1.7 billion, the payback period of the investment is calculated as 26 years, after it is put into operation. This period increases to 30 years when the construction period is included.
    • When the investment cost is considered as $ 2.1 billion, the power plant cannot pay back the investment during its 30-year economic life.
    • Even under alternative scenarios where revenues are considerably higher than market averages and costs are lower, it is observed that the plant can at best make a profit during its 21st year of operation.

Environment and Social Problems:

  • Air pollution and public health: The pollutant particles (PM10) in the air in the centre of Adana is two times above the limit value specified in Turkey and four times above the values recommended by the World Health Organization. It is likely that the construction of the Emba Hunutlu Coal Plant will further drive environmental health impacts on the local population. The modelling, conducted by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) reveals that air pollutant emissions from the project would likely be responsible for a projected 2,000 premature deaths in the operating lifetime of the plant.
  • Local biodiversity and nature preservation: Sugözü Beach, where the power plant project is located, is among the major nesting sites of the green sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles in Turkey. The project is against Turkish law Circular No: 2009/10, which formally recognizes and protects coastlands for nestling turtle sites. In regards to birds, this area contains a total of 17 different species which use the site as a wintering ground or reproduction site.
  • Soil pollution and local agriculture: The region is vital for Turkey’s agriculture production, and it is the main means of livelihood of the locals. The heavy metal pollution in the soil in Iskenderun Bay already exceeds the standards specified by Turkey and the World Health Organization. The construction and operation of the Hunutlu coal plant will worsen the soil condition, and threaten local agricultural production.

Local oppositions:

  • 16 local and national organizations launched the Clean Air 4 Adana campaign to stop the project.
  • More than 20 NGOs have called on Chinese banks to withdraw financial support for the Hunutlu project, citing environmental damage and a disregard for the “green” pledge of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The group sent letters to three Chinese banks, requiring them to halt financing for the project. In June 2020, a related online petition garnered more than 19000 signatures.

Indonesia Bengkulu Power Station

Capacity: 2×100 MW 

Location: Teluk Sepang, Bengkulu City, South Sumatra.

Sponsor: PT. Tenaga Listrik Bengkulu (TLB), a joint venture of PowerChina (70%) and PT. Intraco Penta (30%)

ICBC Finance: US$270 million in debt from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Exim Bank, among which, ICBC provided US$135 million; US$90 million in equity from PowerChina and Intraco Penta Group

Construction company: PT. Tenaga Listrik Bengkulu (TLB)

Status: In-service, since 2020

Projected in service: 2020

The Bengkulu Power Plant is a 200 MW coal power plant located on Baai Island in Teluk Sepang. It uses a 150 KV transmission line to deliver an electricity supply of 1.4 billion kWh/year. The project began construction in October 2016. The first unit was put into full operation on November 15th 2019, while the second unit was expected to start by February 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic. The project has faced criticism for its social and environmental impacts since the start of construction. 

Environment and social problem:

  • Water pollution: Water that used for power plant cooling causes some water pollution as it discharged into the local sea. On 16 Sept 2019, local citizen and Kanopi found a lot of foam and stink scent from the power plant liquid waste disposal site. This also violates the local contract which stated all liquid waste discharged to the sea must be clean and odorless.
  • Impact on local biodiversity: In January 2020, a total of 28 dead turtles found near liquid waste disposal sewer. Kanopi suspected the death of the turtles is caused by power plant liquid waste that affects the rising of sea temperature. This thermal pollution damaging the local aquatic ecosystems. 10 hectares of mangrove forest nearby was cleared in order to construct the plant, while the mangroves provide a protective layer against the destructive effects of the tsunami. 
  • Land pollution: In April 2020, a palm plantation area that belongs to local citizens has been flooded by an oil spill from the power plant. This oil spill contaminated local land as it is considered a toxic and hazardous material.
  • Air pollution: In Andal and RKL-RPL regulate the implementation of power plant project. PT TLB violates many regulations in coal and ash management protocol. The impact of its violation is many coal dust and ash polluted the air and cause many health problems if inhaled. Coal dust size is smaller than 10 micrometres, so it can enter and settles in the lungs and cause Pneumoconiosis. While fly ash consists of some toxic heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, nickel, and lead. If inhaled, it can cause serious health problems such as stroke, cancer, and heart problems.

Local opposition:

  • In 2016, hundreds of locals (mostly fisherfolk) blocked the road leading to the plant, citing health concerns after the construction of the plant. 
  • In October 2018, hundreds of university students, NGOs, environmental activists, and local citizens under the name of ‘Aliansi Tolak Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Uap Batu Bara’ protested this project. They demand Ad Interim Bengkulu Governor revoke PT PLBs environmental permit.
  • In June 2019, dozens of local citizen sued Bengkulu Governor, OSS Institution, and PT. TLB to Civil Court of Justice.
  • In December 2019, student group ‘Cipayung Plus’consisting of ‘Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam’ and ‘Ikatan Mahasiswa Muhammadiyah’ declared closure of Teluk Sepang Power Plant.
  • In February 2020, various environmental NGOs under the name of ‘Gerakan Bersihkan Indonesia’ asked the government to stop Teluk Sepang Power Plant Project.

Pakistan SSRL Thar Coal Block-I Coal Plant

Capacity: 1320 MW

Location: Sindh, Tehsil, Tharparparkar, Pakistan.

Sponsor: SSRL. 

ICBC Finance: The financing has a 75:25 debt to equity ratio. ICBC provided $358.5 million loan.

EPC company: Shanghai Electric

Status: construction

GHG emission annually: 6654 K ton

SSRL Thar Coal Block-I Shanghai Electric Coal Plant is one of the projects included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a project of Belt and Road Initiative. The SSRL, a subsidiary of Global Mining (China) has the 30-year mining lease for the Thar Coal Block-I, and this coal plant will use the lignite coal supplied by SSRL. In Dec.2019, the Pakistan government signed an implementation agreement with Shanghai Electric for the power project. A batch of 500 Chinese workers and managers arrived in Pakistan by a special chartered flight in August 2020, which has accelerated the project progress. The first unit (660MW) is expected to be operational by August 2022, while the commercially operational date of the complete project is Feb. 2023.

Environment and social problems:

  • Air pollution: The air pollutants from the nine plants in the Thar region would jeopardize around 100,000 local people’s health, by exposing them to Sulphur dioxide levels above the limits set by the World Health Organization. About 3,000 inhabitants would also be exposed to the high level of PM2.5. The operation of these power plants and mines could also lead to the death of 29,000 people over 30 years.
  • Water crisis: Thar is an arid, desert region in Sindh province, and it is the seventh-largest desert in the world. Thar has precarious hydrology overwhelmingly dependent upon rainfall that is quite limited. Simultaneously, both the coal mining and coal-based power plants in Thar are highly water-intensive, leading to local water shortage. The brine water discharged from coal mines, and chemical effluents from coal power plants will contaminate the groundwater. The water crisis thus caused will adversely impact both the lives and livelihoods of local people and indigenous flora and fauna in Thar.
  • Land degradation and influence local biodiversity: disposal of brine water from mines and effluent water with coal ash from power plants will leach underground and cause severe land degradation, negatively impacting the survival of indigenous plant species. Extinction of these plants, which provide fodder for the animals and habitat to wildlife, will adversely impact biodiversity.
  • Land acquisition: The ongoing land acquisition and resettlement processes in Thar have no official policy. Forced evictions coupled with no compensation against the grazing land have been causing massive impoverishment among the displaced families, a significant number of which are landless people.

Local oppositions:

  • Local community and NGOs, including Pakistan Fisher-folk Forum (PFF), Rural Development Policy Institute (RDPI) and Alternative Law Collective (ALC), sent the letter about their concerns to Shanghai Electric, ICBC, and Exim Bank of China.
  • The residents of Khario Ghulam Shah and Warvai have been protesting against Shanghai Electric’s high-handedness. They demand the company to restore their old paths/roads and prioritize providing jobs to the people from the affected villages. 


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