Tuas Power is building Singapore’s first ‘clean coal’ power plant
Tuas Power is going ahead with its plan to build Singapore’s first clean coal and biomass plant. We expressed concerns about Tuas Power’s proposed plans in our previous post, Red dot goes black?, and our worries have come true.
We wrote the following letter to The Straits Times to express our concerns about the use of coal by Tuas Power:
I refer to the article, “Tuas Power to build $2b ‘clean’ plant” by Clarissa Oon (ST Sep 26).
Clean coal is an oxymoron as coal is associated with multiple environmental problems such as habitat destruction, acid rain and global warming. Burning coal produces higher levels of carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates and mercury.
With these environmental impacts in mind, Tuas Power and the National Environment Agency need to reassure the public and concerned environmentalists on the use of coal in the new plant.
Would the new plant meet the relevant air emissions and environmental regulations? Are carbon emissions per kilowatt hour higher for the new plant as compared to a natural gas-fired plant? Would the use of coal in the new plant lead to greater use of coal by other power generation companies?
This switch to using coal by Tuas Power seems to contradict the government’s efforts and plans on sustainable development. The new plant should not increase Singapore’s environmental impacts, especially our carbon emissions. If not, it would seem that we are moving one step forward and two steps backward on our green efforts.