Map of Batang in Java, Indonesia
indonesia greenpeace protests construction of regions largest coal power plant in central java
Sources: Adaro Energy, J-Power, Itochu Corp

(EnergyAsia, July 5 2012, Thursday) — Greenpeace activists staged a march through Jakarta city yesterday in protest against plans by a consortium to build Southeast Asia’s largest coal-fired power plant in the coastal district of Batang on north central Java.

Stopping at the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry, the group said the 2,000MW plan would pollute coastal waters and permanently damage the sensitive eco-system while threatening the livelihoods of residents who are mostly fishermen and farmers.

Indonesian coal miner Adaro Energy and Japanese partners J-Power and Itochu Corp are planning to start work on the US$4 billion plant later this year, with completion targeted for 2016.
 
The Indonesian government is caught in a bind between meeting its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% from 2009 levels by 2020 while boosting the country’s power generation capacity to keep up with demand growth. The Batang plant is a major piece in the government’s plan to raise the national power capacity by 20,000 MW by 2016 from 2005 levels.
 
The consortium’s PT Bhimasena Power Indonesia signed a long-term agreement to supply state utility PLN for 25 years last October.
In securing the project, the consortium members proclaimed it as the first power plant in Indonesia to use “advanced environmentally friendly, ultra-supercritical (USC) technology and will serve as a model of high-efficiency power generation.”

The plant will use locally mined low-quality sub-bituminous coal as fuel.

But Greenpeace is not impressed, insisting that the project will be illegally developed in the Ujungnegoro-Roban coastal area which has been under official protection by the central government since 2008.

The contract to build the plant was approved by the Batang district government which issued a new regulation last year that supposedly overruled Jakarta’s jurisdiction over the area’s environmental protection.