Over 1,000 Chinese workers in Burma’s Chibwe hydropower project

Written by KNG
Tuesday, 13 January 2009 16:07
To expedite the hydropower project in N’Mai River at Chibwe city in Burma’s northern Kachin state, about 1,000 Chinese workers have been inducted in the project site since late December, 2008, said local sources.1205-chibwe-dam
The junta’s seven hydropower projects in Mali and N’Mai Rivers in Kachin State, northern Burma.
The Chinese workers are employed by China’s China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) and they are working together with about 300 Burmese workers of the Burma-Asia World Company which is owned by Burma’s former drug king Lo Hsing Han, residents of Chibwe said.

The number of Chinese workers have increased significantly in Chibwe hydropower project site to about 1,000 from about 300 in early December, 2008, added residents of Chibwe.

Currently, workers from the two companies are working in two projects— inspection work in N’Mai River near Chibwe, the second largest river in Kachin state and construction of small hydropower plant in Chibwe stream which joins the N’Mai River for generating electricity for constructing a bigger hydropower plant in N’Mai River near Chibwe, according to local people.

Mr. Awng Wa, an anti-dam activist and chairman of Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) based on the Sino-Burma border told KNG today, “Chinese companies working under CPI in Chibwe hydropower project are also taking out valuable minerals from the project areas to China while working for the hydropower project.”

According to residents and traders on the Sino-Burma border in Chibwe, the area has ore, silver, aluminum, lead, graphite and other minerals which are highly priced in neighbouring China.

The Asia World Company is also constructing a building — 300 x 50 feet in the Chibwe Football Ground which was confiscated by the Burmese ruling junta in October, 2008 for three military helipads. The building will be used as the general office of the Chibwe hydropower project and it has a meeting room, office staff room and car parking space, said sources close to the company.

Owners of restaurants in Chibwe are also seriously suffering and are about to close their shops because the workers in Asia World Company eat daily at their restaurants without paying for the past six months to a year. On the other hand, owners of house construction stores have to provide the materials demanded by the company without getting payment for a long time.

The shop owners are unable to complain to the CPI and Asia World Company because they are strongly backed by the Burmese ruling junta, added local residents.

Chibwe hydropower project is one of a total seven hydropower projects in Mali and N’Mai Rivers in Kachin state which is being built by the CPI and Asia World Company of the junta since 2006. The Chibwe hydropower project will generate a total of 2,000 MW of electricity.

According to sources from the two companies, the Chibwe hydropower project is being implemented under a 20-year project. http://www.kachinnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1

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