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25 Feb 2015

Lawsuit against Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (re Mae Moh power plant)

Status: CLOSED

Date lawsuit was filed
25 Feb 2015
Location of Filing: Thailand
Location of Incident: Thailand
Type of Litigation: Domestic


Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) Thailand Hydropower & dam projects, Energy


Snapshot: In February 2015, 131 people living near the Mae Moh power plant in the Lampang province of Thailand won a lawsuit against the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). The court found that the plant had failed to control its emissions properly between 1992 and 1998, which resulted in locals suffering health problems. Affected villagers were granted a total of 25 million baht.

Factual Background

Mae Moh is Thailand’s largest lignite-fired power plant. Sulphur dioxide emissions from the power plant have severely impacted the heath of people as well as damaged the crops and useable land in the surrounding areas.

Legal Argument

The complainants accused Egat of failing to regulate the power plant’s emission of sulphur dioxide. This was evidenced by the Pollution Control Department’s air-quality reports, which showed that the level of ambient sulphur dioxide in the Mae Moh area exceeded the legal limit between November 1992 and August 1998.

The villagers were thus seeking compensation for health problems that developed from exposure to dangerous levels of sulphur dioxide.

Legal Proceedings

In 2004, 35 lawsuits were filed against the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) by hundreds of villagers with the support from the Council of Work and Environment Related Patient Network of Thailand (WEPT).

On 4 March 2009, the Chiang Mai Administrative Court ordered Egat to compensate villagers affected by pollutants from the power plant.

Latest Legal News

On 24 February 2015, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the lower court’s decision. The court granted a total of 25 million baht to 131 victims. Each villager was to receive between 20,000 to 240,000 baht each, depending on the severity of their illnesses. Although some villages were satisfied with the ruling, many felt that the compensation was inadequate as it did not cover the huge medical expenses incurred.

In response to the decision, Egat released a statement accepting the final judgement and that they would “hurry to pay compensation”. It also added that “since September 1998 the level of sulphur dioxide released from Mae Moh power plant to the atmosphere had never exceeded the standard level”.

News Items

Documents from the Company

Documents from NGOs