- Title: Indonesian coal plant taints South Korea's green pledge
- Date: 16th July 2020
- Summary: BOGOR, WEST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA (RECENT - JULY 8, 2020) (REUTERS) CLIMATE AND ENERGY CAMPAIGNER FOR GREENPEACE INDONESIA DIDIT HARYO WICAKSONO STANDING IN FRONT OF HIS HOUSE SIGN ON WICAKSONO'S SHIRT READING (English) "STOP JAVA 9&10 COAL POWER PLANT" (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) CLIMATE AND ENERGY CAMPAIGNER FOR GREENPEACE INDONESIA, DIDIT HARYO WICAKSONO, SAYING: "The temperature (from the power plant) has caused the water ecosystem in that area to become uninhabitable for fish. This is something that we always find in an area near a coal power plant where fishermen are the most affected by the plant's construction." WICAKSONO WORKING ON LAPTOP COMPUTER
- Embargoed: 30th July 2020 07:04
- Keywords: Indonesia KEPCO President Moon Jae-in South Korea coal new green deal power plant
- Location: SURALAYA, JAKARTA, BOGOR, WEST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA/SEOUL, CHUNCHEON, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SURALAYA, JAKARTA, BOGOR, WEST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA/SEOUL, CHUNCHEON, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: Various
- Topics: Pollution,Environment,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA003CN24MDJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Before the first coal plant was built in the once sleepy Indonesian coastal village of Suralaya, 59-year-old fisherman Ramidin would paddle just off the beach to catch the seafood his family has been selling for generations.
But nowadays, instead of just padding along the shore, Ramidin has to use a motor boat to past vast, uncovered barges stacked high with black coal to find his catch in less polluted waters.
"We used to be able to catch fish closer to the shore, but since those power plants were built, the waste might have affected the fish, and they went away," said Ramidin, who has been fishing in the region for three decades.
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), a state-run utility, confirmed on June 30 that it will partner with Indonesia to build a new 2,000-megawatt coal power project in Suralaya, which is projected to begin operating in 2024. The current power plant, which was built decades ago and is operated by PT Indonesia Power, already has eight units in operation.
The Java 9 and 10 twin coal plants will be built and maintained by South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Company and partly funded with Korean public money.
The $3.5 billion project will give South Korea a much-needed economic boost but risks undermining President Moon Jae-in's "Green New Deal" launched ahead of his April election victory, which includes loose pledges to end support for coal power.
The pollution caused by the Java 9 and 10 twin coal plants will result in 1,500 premature deaths, Greenpeace estimates. The new plants are also expected to exacerbate the already poor air quality in the capital Jakarta, which lies around 100 kilometres (62 miles) away.
"President Moon has betrayed the spirit of the 'Green New Deal' because the South Korean government may feel the impact of the (coronavirus) crisis in the future and they have to help South Korean corporations and earn profits. So we feel that this decision is just meant to help their economy. The economy will not grow in the area where the environment is damaged," said Greenpeace campaigner Didit Haryo Wicaksono.
The Indonesian government and foreign companies like KEPCO say the plants will use the latest technology which will minimise pollution. But local residents remain sceptical.
According to Dasrul Chaniago, director of pollution and environmental damage control at Indonesia's environment ministry, the government no longer performs on-site inspections, but relies on data to monitor the pollution levels "online".
"We need to make sure that this power plant is using technology that meets emission standards, and we will oversee this, and once it start to operate," said Dasrul.
Indonesia, the world's largest coal producer, has plans to massively expand its electricity generation capacity over the next decade, with the bulk coming from coal plants.
(Production: Yuddy Cahya Budiman, Angie Teo, Hyunyoung Yi)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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