Press release by GREENPEACE Indnesia “Batang Coal Fired Power Plant Project Misses The Deadline Again”
JAKARTA, October 8, 2014: Greenpeace is raising questions about the dubious legality of the Batang coal fired power plant project in central Java. Arif Fiyanto, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, explained that yesterday Luky Eko Wuryanto, Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Planning of Coordinating Ministry of Economy announced that the financial closing for coal fired power plant has been extended by one week as they reach the process of finalizing the negotiations between PLN (the State Electricity Company) and PT Bhimasena Power Indonesia (PT BPI).
“Greenpeace questions how this extension could be legal, and posits that the extension may well be invalid under Indonesian law,” Arif said on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.
According to Presidential Regulation No. 66 of 2013: if the companies fail to finish the land acquisition process for Batang in the time allotted, and fail to respect the deadline (October 6, 2014), the agreement between the government and consortium will end and the project must be canceled. Every single consortium activity in the village of Batang should therefore stop immediately, until a legality assessment has been concluded.
“Greenpeace notes that the companies have failed. Thus, the project’s legality is now very much in question. It is possible that the entire Batang project has just become illegal,” urged Fiyanto.
The project had already missed a first deadline in 6 October 2012. It missed a second deadline on 6 October 2013. Then the president himself issued Presidential Regulation No. 66 of 2013, which gave the Batang project yet another extension, for 12 months. That extension expired the day before yesterday, on October 6 of this year, 2014.
The company cannot move forward until it has resolved its land acquisition problems. Community Leader, Roidi, stated “What will the people of Batang do, if coal poisons our environment? What will happen to our fish and our crops? Will we eat coal? No. We will wind up with no jobs, no livelihoods, getting sicker and sicker and poorer and poorer.”
Fiyanto explained that the scandal-ridden project needs money to go forward. “Now, the Indonesian government has again pushed back the deadline to secure the desperately needed financial support for this project, by a week. If this week goes by without Batang’s Indonesian-Japanese consortium getting the money it needs, Batang will have to be cancelled.”
Greenpeace calls upon The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to stop all plans to finance the Batang coal plant. Without JBIC money, the Indonesian-Japanese consortium involved in Batang cannot move forward. Greenpeace deplored that JBIC had previously pledged to support the dirty project.
The $4 billion project, which would become the largest coal fired power plant in Southeast Asia, has been plagued by violence, intimidation, abusive use of private security companies to harass villagers, cases of frivolous lawsuits as well as wrongful arrests, and is already dancing perilously on the edge of illegality.
Arif Fiyanto, Greenpeace Indonesia Climate And Energy Campaigner, 0811 180 5373
Rika Novayanti, Greenpeace Indonesia Media Campaigner, 0811 1683 484