Emission concerns grow over Indonesia's major power plant project

[InKunming--Sister Cities]  Environmentalists voiced concerns over the massive carbon emission that the would-be-constructed major coal-fired power plant in Indonesia's Central Java province would bring about, saying it may hinder the nation's emission reduction target.

The operation of the coal-fired power plant, which would extensively emit carbon dioxide, would increase the nation's risks to put up with more impacts of climate change, activists joined international environmentalist organization Greenpeace in saying on Wednesday.

They said the operation of the coal-fired power plant may produce 10.8 million tons of carbon emission per annum, which equals to that produced by Myanmar in 2009.

"Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at the Climate Summit held in New York yesterday that Indonesia is still keeping its commitment to maintain the earth's average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius," Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Arif Fiyanto said on the sidelines of peace protest held near the project site.

"This spirit is contradicted to the plan in constructing the dirty-energy power plant that would increase CO2 emission and eventually increase the earth's average temperature."

He added that should the government continues its plans to build more coal-fired power plants, the government may fail to comply with its emission reduction target by 26 percent with its own efforts and 41 percent with foreign assistance by 2020.

The operation of the coal-fired power plant with a capacity of 2*1,000 megawatt (MW) in Batang would also contaminate the province's fish-rich coastal area, reduce farming areas and may eventually threaten the nation's food resiliency programs, the campaigner said.

"This coal-fired power plant is a sample of MP3EI projects that may threaten the nation's food sovereignty, farming culture and contribute to the pace of global climate change," Arif said, referring to the government's landmark program to speed up economy development through extensive infrastructure projects throughout the nation.

The Batang coal-fired power plant, claimed as the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, is a result of a PPP (Public Private Partnership) program between the government and PT Bhimasena Power Indonesia (BPI), a consortium comprising Japanese and Indonesian companies.

The 4 billion U.S. dollars project was initiated in 2011 and is now stranded due to land compensation problems between the project team and people living around the project site, which left 13 percent of the site unable to be acquired.

Power analyst Fabby Tumiwa said earlier that construction of the Batang power plant is essential for satisfying the growing need of power in the Java-Bali power grid that may increase 3,500 MW next year.

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