Social and Environmental Assessment for a Proposed Coal-fired Power Plant
Tetra Tech assisted with the project definition and environmental licensing for the first coal-fired facility to be built in the Dominican Republic. Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO), in collaboration with its joint venture partners, is leading the design, engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of a clean-coal-technology power plant to be located in Punta Catalina, Hatillo. The dual-unit plant is being built on behalf of Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales (CDEEE) to help address the country’s electricity shortages and high energy prices and reduce its dependence on natural gas.
CNO retained Tetra Tech to study the social and environmental impacts, restrictions, and applicable legal requirements for the new plant. The studies supported CNO’s project definition and risk management in accordance with the Equator Principles, and the environmental licensing application. Our work addressed the planning stages, definitions of coal-burning technologies, CNO’s role as a major enterprise in the Dominican Republic’s economy, and major social and environmental restrictions and applicable standards. We also identified critical issues and next steps to be addressed for environmental licensing.
The work has met and exceeded expectations. I hope that our partnership continues.Alexandre Ungar, CNO Project Manager
Tetra Tech conducted technical meetings with multidisciplinary CNO teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of the project and to define the three geographic zones of potential social and environmental impact. Our team completed field studies to evaluate the project’s potential social and environmental relationships for each zone and identified legal requirements associated with the project’s potential impacts to regional physiography.
Our work involved environmental and infrastructure assessments including:
- Wind studies to evaluate potential atmospheric dispersion
- Confirmation of the existence and proximity of local communities and surrounding infrastructure
- Vegetation inventories
- Identification and assessment of conservation areas
- Identification of access roads and assessment of their pre-project condition
Multidisciplinary teams then synthesized and integrated all available and sufficient data to identify the critical issues and propose further strategies for each study area. Tetra Tech incorporated field data and desk research, such as current satellite imagery and geospatial information, into the project’s geographic information system.
Tetra Tech identified strategies to support the project’s compatibility with the Equator Principles and essential risk management requirements, such as the Environmental and Social Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation. A chapter in our final report was specifically prepared to address both conventional coal-fired power generation with an emphasis on pollution control and newer clean coal technology—technology that improves environmental performance and efficiency as compared to current coal-fired power plants.