Press Release: Urgent Petition Submitted to Minister of Finance and JBIC by Environmental Groups
Exporting dirty coal fired power plants to Vietnam is against the Paris Agreement


>Japanese

Press Release

March 13th 2018




Since the Paris Agreement was made in 2015, de-carbonization, especially the phase out from coal is proceeding at an accelerated pace to meet the Paris 1.5-2 degree temperature target. Despite this, the Japanese Government still supports coal fired power plants using public money. Any new coal power plants cannot be built if we want to meet the Paris Agreement goal. However, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (hereafter JBIC) is even considering financing Nghi Son 2 coal fired power plant in Vietnam which will deploy less efficient outdated “Supercritical technology”.

We, undersigned environmental NGOs, submit an urgent petition to Minister of Finance and Governor of JBIC demanding that JBIC stop financing Nghi Son 2 coal fired power plant. At the very least, the Japanese Government has stated that they “only support ultrasuper critical (USC) technology, the world most advanced technology” . Thus, financing Nghi Son 2 is clearly against Japan’s own policy. Needless to say, Japan has a huge historical responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically, and public money should not be used to support coal at all.

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March 13th 2018


Mr. Taro Aso, Minister of Finance
Mr. Akira Kondoh, Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Urgent Petition
JBIC should reject finance for Nghi Son 2 coal fired power plant project in Vietnam


Friends of the Earth Japan
Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)
Kiko Network
350.org Japan
Mekong Watch


Japan Bank for International Cooperation (hereafter, JBIC) has been considering financing Nghi Son 2 coal fired power plant project since February 6th 2018 (the project is to build two 600 MW supercritical coal fired power plants, with Marubeni and KEPCO(Korea Electric Power Corporation) as equal sponsors1.

It is clear that any new coal power plants cannot be built in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-2 degree goal. Moreover, this project deploys less efficient supercritical technology which is even against Japan’s own policy of “only supporting ultrasuper critical coal technology”.


We, undersigned organizations, demand JBIC reject financing this project and demand close scrutiny of the matters listed below.

1. Supporting coal fired power plants is not compatible with the Paris Agreement
The UN Environmental Program stated in its Emission Gap Report 2017 that “[a]voiding building new coal-fired power plants and phasing out existing ones is crucial to closing the emissions gap ”2. It is crystal clear that any new coal power plants cannot be built to meet the Paris goal.

2. Supporting supercritical technology is against Japanese Government policy
The Japanese Government set a policy “to support only ultra-super critical technology, a world most advanced technology”. This project deploys sub-standard supercritical technology, which is therefore against Japan’s own policy 3.

3. It worsens Vietnamese air pollution
It is estimated that 4300 premature deaths in Vietnam are attributable to air pollution due to coal fired power plants in 20114. According to Harvard University, the premature death rate will reach around 20,000 in 2030, 5 times more compared to that of 20115.

On the other hand, the estimated emission intensity of Nghi Son 2 coal fired power plant is much more intense than that of coal fired power plants in Japan (see the table). Nghi Son 2 uses outdated technology which would significantly pollute the local environment and contribute to a loss of life and health.


4. Possible defects in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)
According to Article 20 of the Vietnamese Environmental Protection Law of 2014, “Project owners must repeat the report on the environment impact assessment when: a) The project is not executed within a period of 24 months as from the date on which the decision on approving the report on environmental impact assessment is made;”8. JBIC refers to the ESIA which was conducted in February 2015 which was approved on March 4th 2015 . Therefore, at least 3 years has already passed since the ESIA was conducted9. A local NGO has pointed out that the project owners need to repeat the report on environmental impact assessment according to the law.

The ESIA presently does not take into account the cumulative impacts of the other projects in the area. Nghi Son 2 is located within an area which includes another coal-fired power station as well as the Nghi Son oil refinery and petrochemical project. These other projects are not considered in the context of Nghi Son 2’s emissions or the strain on the local population and environment.


1. Japan Bank for International Cooperation, https://www.jbic.go.jp/ja/business-areas/environment/projects/page.html?ID=60385&lang=ja
2.UN Environment Program Emission Gap Report 2017, https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/22070/EGR_2017.pdf
3. Minites of briefing by Minister of Environment, 30th Jan 2018, http://www.env.go.jp/annai/kaiken/h30/0130.html
4. Shannon Koplitz, Daniel Jacob, Melissa Sulprizio, Lauri Myllyvirta, and Colleen Reid, “Burden of disease from rising coal emissions in Asia”, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (3), pp 1467–1476.
5. Ibid.
6. Telephone interview with JBIC by FoE Japan on Feb 16th 2018,
7. For Isogo 1 and 2, see Annual report of J-Power, 2009. For Hekinan 5, See CCT Journal 1st issue(Japan Coal Energy Center, May 2002)
8. “Project owners must repeat the report on the environment impact assessment when: a) The project is not executed within a period of 24 months as from the date on which the decision on approving the report on environmental impact assessment is made;” Law on Environmental Protection 2014, No 55/2014/QH13
9. Investment license was issued June 2017 and Power Purchase Agreement was concluded Nov 2017https://www.marketforces.org.au/research/vietnam/nghi-son-2/

Contact :
Friends of the Earth Japan, Ayumi Fukakusa, +49-152-2674-4324 (11/2-11/27)