Friday 9 February 2018
The London-based bank Standard Chartered is reportedly in line to co-finance the planned 1,200MW Nghi Son 2 coal-fired power plant in Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam. It is understood that the sponsors of the plant are seeking to finalise key financial agreements by the end of March (marking the end of the Japanese financial year), as a number of parties to the deal are Japan-based.
The environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the plant was, for the first time, released on Tuesday (6 February) by a key lender to the project – the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
The EIA reveals detailed technical specifications that were previously unknown. Based on this information it can be revealed that Standard Chartered is in breach of its own commitments on climate change.
Standard Chartered’s climate change position statement reads;
“We will not provide debt or equity to new coal fired power plants which do not achieve a long-run emissions intensity of below 830g / CO2 / kWh.”
However, based on analysis of the EIA, Greenpeace’s Coal and Air Pollution Expert Lauri Myllyvirta says the plant will significantly exceed the emissions intensity specified by Standard Chartered.
“Using engineering calculations based on technical data in the EIA, I estimate the average emissions intensity at 890-900 gCO2/kWh. This is clearly greater than the intensity limit set by Standard Chartered”, said Myllyvirta.
“The planned coal-fired power plant would generate twice as much CO2 per every unit of power generated as the average generating plant in Vietnam. Financing projects that make power generation more polluting, at a time when investments need to be urgently shifted to clean energy, would be the height of irresponsibility.”
“Expansion of coal-fired power generation in Vietnam is a major threat to public health: air pollution from coal-fired power plants was already responsible for an estimated 4,300 premature deaths in 2011, with the health toll projected to increase three-fold if Nghi Son 2 and other planned projects go ahead,” he added, referencing a 2017 study in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Australian environment NGO Market Forces and Greenpeace coordinated to assess the emissions intensity of Nghi Son 2.
Julien Vincent, Executive Director of Market Forces said “If Standard Chartered want to be taken seriously on climate change, they need to immediately withdraw from this deal.”
Standard Chartered’s policy also states that a decision whether or not to fund such as plant is subject to a “Best Available Technology (BAT) analysis”.
“Nghi Son 2 uses technology which is out-dated even by the low standards in the coal industry,” said Vincent. “The idea that a dirty coal-fired power plant is ‘best available technology’ is laughable. Vietnam has tremendous potential for renewable energy. Instead, Standard Chartered seems intent on locking Vietnamese communities into decades of pollution.”