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Huaneng Haimen coal-fired power station, China

Protests and blockades for stopping a coal power station did not achieve their goal. Repression and violence against protesters put at place while China expands energy generation capacity.


In 2011, when plans were announced to expand the coal-fired Huaneng Haimen power station situated in Haimen, residents and other citizens opposing the expansion took their anger to the streets. The residents argued that existing coal-fired power plants had already caused environmental and health-related damage to the local population, citing that they had caused a rise in cases of cancer and damage to the local fishing industry.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Huaneng Haimen coal-fired power station, China
State or province:Guangdong Province
Location of conflict:Haimen, Chaoyang District, Shantou Prefecture
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Huaneng Haimen power station is operated by the state-owned China Huaneng Group. The coal-fired has four units which were put in operation between 2009 and 2013. The station's total capacity is 4,144 MW.

Project area:Approx. 90 hectares
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:Around 30,000
Start of the conflict:20/12/2011
Company names or state enterprises:China Huaneng Group (CHNG) from China
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Online accounts stating that two people had died during the protest were denied by a Chinese official and could not be confirmed.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:In 2014, protests re-emerged and twelve people were arrested for blocking a road leading to the plant for disturbing public order. After expansion plans were temporarily put on hold due to the protests in 2011, two additional coal-fired units were finally completed in 2013, bringing the power station's capacity up to a total of 4,144 MW.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

YANG, Ailun; CUI, Yiyun (2012), Global Coal Risk Assessment: Data Analysis and Market Research, World Resources Institute, Working Paper, November 2012,
[click to view]

Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Chinese City, by Michael Wines, The New York Times, 23 December 2011
[click to view]

Huaneng Haimen power station, SourceWatch, Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)
[click to view]

Opposition to coal in China, SourceWatch, Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)
[click to view]

Company Profile, Huaneng Power International Inc.
[click to view]

Chinese official denies reports of deaths at Haimen protest, by Alison Leung and Sisi Tang, Reuters, 21 December 2011
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

The New York Times (2011), Villagers gathered to protest in Haimen, China, on Friday, 25 December 2011
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1749
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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