Thirsty Coal 2: Shenhua’s Water Grab
Greenpeace East Asia 2013
In a follow up to Thirsty Coal: A Water Crisis Exacerbated, this report focuses on the most controversial part of China’s coal strategy, the proposed expansion of the coal chemical sector. In particular, Greenpeace investigated the largest of the nine coal chemical demonstration projects in operation: Shenhua’s Coal-to-Liquid Demonstration Project located in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. Given its size and scope, this massive, controversial project is a classic example of the unchecked expansion of coal-reliant industries that is in growing conflict with China’s water resources. This report reveals that Shenhua’s Coal-to-Liquid Project went to extraordinary lengths to secure water supply for its operations, and has found alarming evidence of widespread ecological and social damage, resulting from the short span of eight years of operations. Shenhua’s plundering of water at the cost of the local population and the baseline needs of the environment is of such a scale that can only be described as a “water grab” in the most ruthless way.