The popular tourist beaches near southern Thailand's Andaman coast may soon play host to an unlikely new fixture: an 800-megawatt coal power plant.

The plan to build a coal-fired plant in Krabi province, known for its white-sand tranquility, has prompted protests in the capital, an ongoing hunger strike and opposition from environmentalists and the country's tourism industry.

More than 100 protesters rallied Monday outside the prime minister's office in Bangkok. Protesters oppose the state power authority's plan push ahead with a bidding process for the plant's construction before an environmental impact assessment has been completed.

Despite Thailand's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, its state power authority envisions building nine coal power plants in the south over the next two decades.