Minister Jonan to conduct review of Bengkulu's coal-fired power plant

Minister Jonan to conduct review of Bengkulu's coal-fired power plant

Bengkulu (ANTARA) - Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan confirmed PT Tenaga Listrik Bengkulu's 2x100-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Sepang Bay, Bengkulu City, Bengkulu, will be evaluated if a mismatch is found in the Environmental Impact Analysis.

"If the Bengkulu State Administrative Court uncovers a discrepancy in the environmental impact analysis, a review of the project to develop the coal fired-power plant will be conducted," Jonan stated on his personal Instagram account on Sunday.

Jonan's statement was made in response to the official Instagram upload of Kanopi, an environmental organization based in Bengkulu Province, which in the past three years along with the Teluk Sepang community, have rejected the coal-fired power plant project on grounds of environmental pollution.

On June 22, Kanopi uploaded factsheets titled "Why #Bengkulu Sued the Sepang Bay PLTU (steam-powered electricity plant)" to voice its criticism to the Sepang Bay coal-fired power plant

Bengkulu residents have filed a lawsuit on June 20 in the Bengkulu State Administrative Court against the environmental permit of PT Tenaga Listrik Bengkulu.

As a member of the Indonesian Forum for Environment for Bengkulu, Kanopi suspects falsification of the Bengkulu residents' agreement and claimed that establishment of the coal-fired power plant was above the red zone that is susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis.

Chairman of the Bengkulu Kanopi Ali Akbar remarked while quoting the environmental impact analysis document that 92 percent of the Bengkulu people agreed to the project and eight percent of the community were hesitant in spite of the fact that the affected residents had repeatedly voiced opposition to the power plant project.

The community has also submitted a letter, bearing signatures of the people rejecting the power plant development project, to Governor of Bengkulu Ridwan Mukti and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in June 2016.

The community has, time and again, voiced its rejection in open forums, an event to disseminate the project's environmental impact analysis, and at the start of the development of the power plant on October 25, 2016.

Akbar claimed the existence of the project also ran counter to the Regional Spatial Plan of Bengkulu Province.

The regulation evidently stated that the project site was located above a red zone prone to earthquakes and tsunamis and belonged to geological protected areas.

Hence, the local residents and activists have called on the Bengkulu governor to revoke the project's environmental permit.

The Sepang Bay coal-fired power plant project was being built with a loan capital of US$270 million from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd and the Export-Import Bank of China. The project, under construction, is targeted for completion in the first half of 2020.