Ethical Hesitation of the Patriotic Hydroelectric Station

Munkh-Erdene Gantulga

The paper aims to study the debate of an ethical justification between locals and government officials about the project of hydroelectric station on Eg River in Bulgan Province, Mongolia. Government of Mongolia demanded to start the building of the hydroelectric station on the Eg River near the border of the Russian Federation and Mongolia several times since 1991. Finally the government decided to build the station supported by the easy term credit of government of China in November of 2013. Mongolia imports and uses around 25 million USD worth of electricity in a year from Russian Federation. It is argued that if the power station is built on the Eg River, Mongolia can save those expenses. For this reason, project leader former MP Odkhuu named the project “patriotic”. However locals are asking different ethical questions about the patriotic station, such as what is the patriotic station? Why the funds for building loaned from China for it? Locals are afraid that many Chinese workers will come to their homeland. Moreover power station buildings and other facilities will occupy their summer camp and block the passage to winter pasture. Likewise, they justify their arguments using logic concerning the ethics and meaning of term as ‘patriotic’. In Mongolia, it is a common belief that renewable source of power is the most ethical type of energy. However, I argue that it is right for economic and ecologic reason, but not culturally and socially.