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StanChart ends financing for 3 coal plants in Southeast Asia worth roughly $7B

Standard Chartered PLC said it will cease financing for three coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia amid mounting global pressure on banks to stop financing fossil fuel-based power projects, Reuters reported Dec. 18.

According to industry sources, the projects in question are the Vung Ang 2 and Vinh Tan 3 plants in Vietnam, and Java 9 and 10 in Indonesia, the report said. Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings Ltd., a developer in both Vietnamese projects, also said it would stop investing in new coal-fired power generation, the news agency reported.

Switzerland's Credit Suisse Group AG also recently said it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants, the report noted.

The three projects buttressed by Standard Chartered were expected to cost roughly $7.7 billion, the news wire wrote, citing Australia-based environmental finance organization Market Forces. Bernadette Maheandiran, a legal analyst at the organization, told Reuters that "this is an important step, but nothing short of what is needed if we want to align finance with the goals of the Paris Agreement."

The Paris Agreement's main demand is a virtual end to coal power by 2050, but based on projections the demand for electricity will continue to rise in Southeast Asia over the coming decades. It was the only region in the world to post a rise in coal's share of total energy supply in 2018, the report noted.