PBI-Honduras present as consultation rejects Ecotek petcoke plant that would power iron oxide pelletizing plant near the Guapinol River

Published by Brent Patterson on

On December 9, PBI-Honduras tweeted:

“The Open Town Hall for Socialization and Consultation of the Ecotek Investment Power Plant Project was annulled by the municipal mayor’s office of Tocoa (Colón)”

On Facebook they also further explained:

“After this decision, the organizations present decided to conduct a self-consultation in which they rejected the Los Pinares/Ecotek investment project.

Wendy Castro, sub-coordinator of Plataforma Agraria reports: ‘Our children need clean and non-polluted air, they need clean and nonpolluted water!’”

This tweet from Las Noticias de Colón further explains:

“Mayor Adán Fúnez postpones the Cabildo due to the request of the boards of influence to the Ecotek electricity project that were intimidated and threatened. The women tore up the documents and set fire to it in front of the stage where the main table was.”

Photo of the town hall meeting.

Background

The Municipal Committee for the Defence of Public and Common Goods has long opposed the Inversiones Los Pinares open-pit iron oxide mine in the Montaña de Botaderos Carlos Escaleras Mejía National Park, and the associated Ecotek processing plant for iron oxide pellets that is located about one hundred meters from the Guapinol River.

Photo: The mine site.

Photo by Guapinol Exige Justicia.

Photo: The mining project and pelletizing plant.

Late last month, Criterio.hn had reported:

“In Tocoa, northern Honduras, the threat of contamination from the mining megaproject of Inversiones Los Pinares and Inversiones Ecotek, both subsidiaries of the Emco Holding Group, does not disappear.

Currently, the power generation project, which in a first phase would generate 25 megawatts, for a future total of 50 megawatts, is being promoted as a solution to the energy problem in the municipality of Tocoa, department of Colón.

Juana Esquivel, a defender and member of the Municipal Committee in Defense of Common and Public Goods of Tocoa, [said] that a first point is that the energy component of the mining megaproject was born to supply the iron oxide pelletizing plant, a mineral that has been extracted from the Carlos Escalera National Park.

In addition to this, she said, the public is also not told that the thermoelectric plant is based on pet coke, a by-product derived from the oil refining process, which he pointed out as ‘highly polluting and harmful to health’.

It is important to note that initially the electricity generation component for the pelletizing plant was designed to function as a hydroelectric plant on the Guapinol River, but in recent months it mutated to power generation through petroleum coke.

[On] Tuesday, November 14, the Municipal Corporation of Tocoa, through its mayor Adán Funes and a majority of councillors, voted in favor of holding an open town hall on Saturday, December 9 for the population to decide in relation to the installation of the electric generation plant based on petroleum coke.”

This is the open town hall that was then cancelled.

Image from Guapinol Resiste.

Criterio.hn has also explained:

“There are seven extractive projects that threaten the community of Tocoa, Colón, northern Honduras, but the operation of six of them literally depends on one, which is the generation of energy from the thermoelectric plant based on water and petcoke (petroleum coke), which is being promoted by the mayor of that municipality Adán Fúnez and the government. through the Ministry of Natural Resources (Serna).”

We continue to follow this.


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