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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the development of a new power house at G.Dh. Thinadhoo
Authors: Abdul Wahhab, Mahfooz
Jaleel, Mohamed Ibrahim
Shareef, Ali
Keywords: Powerhouse development
Existing environment
Existing socio-economic environment
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Environmental impacts
Constructional impacts
Operational impacts
Socio-economic impacts
Environmental monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Jun-2016
Citation: Abdul Wahhab, M., Jaleel, M. I. & Shareef, A. (2016). Environmental impact assessment for the development of a new power house at G.Dh. Thinadhoo. Male': Maldives
Abstract: 1. The purpose of this EIA is to critically analyse and assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the development of new powerhouse at G.DH Thinadhoo and expose the solutions and preferred alternatives as well as mitigation measures to minimize any negative impacts whilst trying to derive the maximum positive impacts from the project. 2. The powerhouse in Thinadhoo was recently burned down by an accidental fire. The powerhouse was burned to the extent that the building can no longer be used. The fire has greatly reduced the strength of the walls and concrete beams of the building, considering the health and safety of the staff that work in the powerhouse it is not advisable to repair the building and continue operations. Therefore, a new powerhouse is proposed to be developed in Thinadhoo. 3. In this powerhouse development project, a new powerhouse is proposed to be constructed within the FENAKA premise. The powerhouse will be constructed from pre-fabricated sheets and blocks. The project will also involve the construction of admin building, fuel storages and the transfer of generators from the existing temporary powerhouse to the new powerhouse. The generator beds will be rolled over metal rollers to the new powerhouse. All the components of the powerhouse will be constructed according to BS standards complying to both MEA and EPA regulations. 4. Thinadhoo is located on the western edge of Huvadhoo Atoll. Thinadhoo is the most densely populated island in G.DH atoll. According to census 2014 the total population of Thinadhoo is 5268. 5. A full baseline of air quality, water quality and noise level was established. It was found that the water at the powerhouse location had very high conductivity which may be due to its close proximity to the coast. Noise level within the vicinity of the temporary generators is very high, it was concluded that the noise level is high because the generators were not inside a sound attenuated powerhouse. Air quality measurements at the existing temporary powerhouse and proposed powerhouse revealed that only air pollutant Nitrogen dioxide was found at 2 ppm concentration near the exhaust chimney of the existing temporary powerhouse.The construction works of new powerhouse presented in this report are not expected to adversely impact the environment if the mitigation measures mentioned in the report are followed. The most important mitigation measures are to do daily maintenance of machinery, following chemical handling procedures, waste segregation and storage in closed labelled containers until disposal to Thilafushi and most importantly following the fuel handling plan 7. It is expected that the newly established powerhouse will ensure reliable electricity services to Thinadhoo. And also will greatly reduce any smoke and noise disturbance to the community and the environment. 8. The major potential negative impact for this project is groundwater contamination from chemical spills and oil spills during fuel handling. Therefore, handling of fuel or other chemical substances has to be done according to the fuel handling plan. The major potential positive impact from the project is the reliable supply of electricity services to Thinadhoo. 9. Monitoring is essential to ensure that environmental thresholds are not exceeded and mitigation measures proposed are working. Water quality and air quality monitoring will be done according to the monitoring schedule. 10. The no project scenario will mean that the new powerhouse will not be developed in Thinadhoo and would lead to reduced reliability of electricity services to Thinadhoo. One alternative location, west side of island along with the proposed project location was analysed. It was found that the proposed project location is the preferred alternative based on socioeconomic and environmental factors.
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