AEER & Jatam Central Sulawesi Sending Letter to CEO Tesla, Urging Its Nickel Battery Free From Coal Energy & DSTD

Pers Release

Central Sulawesi Jatam & Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation (AEER) Association

Jakarta, 11 Mei 2022

At the moment, the world is developing electric transportations as an attempt to face climate change. Nickel has been targeted as a favorite commodity because the demand for electric transportations has begun to rise. More and more cars companies are competing to develop different battery technology.

Tesla dan Indonesia Government are planning to work together to invest in nickel batteries. Environment organizations in Indonesia, Jatam Central Sulawesi and Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation (AEER) demanding Tesla and Government of Indonesia make nickel battery free from coal energy and deep sea tailing disposal (DSTD).

Sea water pollution in Morowali coastal area due to nickel mining activity

Central Sulawesi Jatam and AEER proceeded to send a letter  to the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk on Mei 11 2022. In the letter, they urging CEO Tesla, Elon Musk, keeps tied to his commitment that was told in the annual meeting of Tesla stakeholders in September 2020. He said that he is offering a long term contract for companies that can mine nickels with one condition: Not polluting the environment.

Pius Ginting, AEER Coordinator, states two points in the letter:  If Tesla wants to invest in Indonesia, they should make it free from coal fired power plants. Because doing so conflicts with the aim of electric tranportation: reducing total gas emission.

According to a study done by AEER, coal fired power plant activities for nickel processing in Indonesia has increased air pollution and health problems for local citizens in Bahodopi,  Morowali[1]. Coal ashes are blown into citizens homes, causing many people to suffer with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) disease.

Moh Taufik, Central Sulawesi Jatam Coordinator, adds, Indonesian nickel use production shouldn’t use Deep-Sea Tailings Displacement(DSTD) method to waste dumps. Tailing with enormous volume pose high risk to the coastal ecology such as hyper sedimentation, inhibition vertical migration of marine biotas.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water contamination caused by mining is one of the three biggest risks in the world. 

Media contact:

aeermail@gmail.com


[1] https://www.rosalux.de/fileadmin/rls_uploads/pdfs/engl/Nickel_Study_FINAL.pdf

245,000 Ton/Year Carbon Sequestration Mangroves Threatened to Loss by Coal Mines in Kalimantan, AEER Study

The carbon sequestration of mangroves, which are in danger of being lost, is greater than the carbon reduction of the Jeneponto wind power plant project

Press release

Association for Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation

Jakarta (28 April 2022) Kalimantan Island is the largest coal source in Indonesia, with almost 86% of national coal production1. The high mining activity in Kalimantan causes a decrease in environmental services and disturbances to wildlife. Kalimantan is an island rich in biodiversity.

According to a study conducted by the Association for Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (AEER)2, there are 35 coal mines with an area of more than 10,000 hectares each located within a 25 kilometers radius of the conservation area. In addition, there are at least 5 species classified as critically endangered in and around the mining area (25 kilometers radius). The species are Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill turtle), Hopea rudiformis, Pongo pygmaeus (Kalimantan orangutan), Aquilaria malaccensis (eaglewood), and Sphyrna lewini (hammerhead shark).

A coal mining site in Kalimantan, April 2022 (photo: Jatam East Kalimantan )

According to GBIF biodiversity data, critically endangered species were found in the 7 mining companies studied, namely PT Insani Baraperkasa, PT Multi Harapan Utama, PT Batubara Selaras Sapta, PT Berau Indobara Semesta, PT Singlurus Pratama Coal, PT Kaltim Prima Coal, and PT Persada Berau Jaya Sakti. A total of 33 species of endangered rarity level and 69 species of vulnerable rarity level living in and around mining areas. Some of these species are Nasalis larvatus (proboscis monkey) and Helarctos malayanus (sun bear). The mining activities of PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Indominco Mandiri contributed to the decline in the carrying capacity of orangutan habitat by up to 60%3.

According to the 2019 land cover data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the mining activities of the 19 mining companies studied have the potential to pose a threat to the sustainability of the mangrove ecosystem. The mining companies are PT Amanah Putra Borneo, PT Arutmin Indonesia, PT Batubara Selaras Sapta, PT Berau Coal, PT Berau Indobara Semesta, PT Borneo Indobara, PT Delma Mining Corporation, PT Indominco Mandiri, PT Insani Baraperkasa, PT Kaltim Prima Coal, PT Kideco Jaya Agung, PT Lanna Harita Indonesia, PT Multi Harapan Utama, PT Perkasa Inakakerta, PT Persada Berau Jaya Sakti, PT Santan Batubara, PT Singlurus Pratama, PT Sumber Daya Energi, and PT Tambang Damai. The carbon absorption capacity of mangrove ecosystems around mining can reach 245,028.37 tons of carbon per year, exceeding the capacity of the Tolo wind power plant in Jeneponto, South Sulawesi which only reduces 160,600 tons of carbon. If coal mining activities around the mangrove ecosystem continue, the ability to absorb carbon will decrease as a result of the degradation of the mangrove ecosystem.

Mining activities have changed landscapes on a large scale and released pollutants that damage the ecosystems that host thousands of species of flora and fauna. Land clearing for mining activities damages microclimate factors such as temperature and rainfall4. Land clearing that is carried out eliminates various environmental services and harms the quality of life.

Iqbal Patiroi, AEER Association’s Biodiversity and Climate Program Coordinator stated that mining activities on the island of Kalimantan need to be reduced and stopped, accompanied by a transition process that is fair to all parties and the environment. In addition, restoration and rehabilitation efforts in each mining area must be carried out and monitored closely and seriously to form a sustainable ecosystem. Thus, wild animals can live safely in the wild and carry out their ecological role so that the living environment remains in a balanced condition.

Media contact:

Muhammad Iqbal Patiroi, Biodiversity and Climate Program Coordinator iqbalpatiroi@aeer.info

References:

  1. Performance Report of the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal in 2020
  2. To get copy of the report, contact AEER, aeermail[at]gmail.com
  3. https://www.forina.org/_files/ugd/d1b392_25fc22daefbc4cff9f3b026b893e66e1.pdf?index=true
  4. El-Hamid, H. T., Caiyong, W., & Yongting, Z. (2019). Geospatial Analysis of Land Use Driving Force in Coal Mining Area: Case Study in Ningdong, China. Geojournal, 1-16.

Industry Needs to Switch From Coal To Renewable Energy to For Acceptance Its Products

Press Release

Jakarta, March 21, 2022

Not only in the power generation sector, but the transition into renewable energy also takes place in the manufacturing sector. The climate change that is taking place due to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses has occurred globally. The industrial sectors that use the most energy are the food and beverage, fertilizer and chemicals, and cement industries. This means that these industries generate a huge amount of carbon emissions. Some of the companies in this sector also have switched to using renewable energy.

Nickel industry in North Molucca (Photo: Rabul Sawal)

In Indonesia, coal is the most used fossil energy source, compared to other sources of energy, with 38% contributions to national energy in 2021.

Siti Shara, Researcher for Climate Finance and Energy of AEER Association, said that the shifts to renewable energy by industry should be done significantly, not just as greenwashing. The companies that have not made the transition towards renewable energy are risking their product’s public image.

The AEER Association notes that this transition has occurred in various sectors. In the food and beverage sector, Danone-Aqua (Danone Indonesia), the largest beverage company in Indonesia, has built 4 roofs Solar Power Plant throughout 2018-2021 and is targeting the installation of solar panels in 21 Danone-Aqua factories in Indonesia with a total capacity of 15 MW in 2023. In the fertilizer and chemicals sector, PT Chanda Asri Petrochemical Tbk has built solar panel installations in 2019 and continued with the addition of solar panels in 2021. There is also PT Pupuk Kaltim that also install a solar power plant with a rooftop on-grid system in 2022. In the cement industries, there are PT Semen Padang and PT Semen Tonasa which are not dependent on coal energy. They generate electricity from solar power plants in their power plants.

Several other industries also took action and negotiated acceleration in energy transformation from fossil-based fuel towards renewable energy. However, this number is still far below the number of the industries that have not taken steps towards clean energy. If the five largest food companies in Indonesia – namely PT Indofood CBP Sukses MakmurTbk, PT Sido Muncul Tbk, PT Akasha Wira International Tbk, and PT Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk – built solar power plants with the same capacity as Danone Indonesia, this would reduce carbon emissions by more than 83000 tons of CO2/year.

In the fertilizer sector, there is PT Pupuk Indonesia, the largest fertilizer and chemical producer in Indonesia has 9 subsidiaries that have not yet switched to environmentally-friendly energy. They still use fossil-based energy for their electricity. In addition, PT Lotte Chemical Titan Nusantara, PT Trans Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI), PT Kaltim Pasifik Amoniak, and PT Lautan Luas Tbk as a leading industry have not changed their energy sources to green energy.

Although 2 subsidiaries of PT Semen Indonesia have made an energy transition, there are still other subsidiaries that have not transitioned from coal energy. PT Semen Indonesia controls 53,1% of the national cement market. PT Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk (INTP) and PT Semen Jawa is the same.

Siti Shara added, using coal energy has bad environmental impacts and causes economical losses. The best option is to replace coal-based energy with clean energy. The industrial sector can achieve energy efficiency to reduce the environmental impact. We urge the companies in the industrial sector that is not using renewable energy yet to take actual steps to remove coal from their sources of energy. The industrial sector has had to abandon dirty energy sources that damaging the environment badly. Economically, building a new renewable energy power plant is cheaper than operating a new coal-fired power plant. The industrial sector can also reduce the cost of environmental countermeasures due to coal emissions. This is part of efforts to build a sustainable economy, improve the quality of life, and save the earth from the climate crisis.

Jatam Sulteng & AEER Urge China as Organizer of UN Biodiversity Conference to Announce Its Foreign Investment Not To Dump Tailing Waste Into Sea Zone

Press Release of JATAM Central Sulawesi and AEER

Jakarta & Palu, Wednesday 13 October 2021

The Central Sulawesi Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) and the People’s Action & Ecology and Emancipation Society (AEER) will submit a petition rejecting the disposal of tailings waste into the sea from the nickel battery industry and urge the government to replace steam power plants (PLTU) with renewable energy in the nickel battery industry to the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government.

UN Biodiversity Summit in Kunming, China

Research conducted by Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (AEER) shows the potential environmental impact of deep-sea tailing placement (DSTP) plans selected as a method to reduce the operating costs of the nickel industry. In addition, the nickel industry in both Morowali (Central Sulawesi) and Vedas (North Maluku) still utilizes coal power plants (PLTU) as the main energy source for which carbon is in fact a source of pollutants.

Managing Coordinator Jatam Sulteng, Moh. Taufik, stated, encouraging nickel downstreaming does not mean without new homework. The track record of the nickel industry environment on land should not be extended to the sea. China itself does not apply the disposal of mining waste to the sea in its country.

“We expect a biodiversity commitment from the Chinese government as host of the UN Biodiversity Conference, which takes place in Kunming, a city in the southwestern part of china this month. We hope that this Biodiversity Conference in China, also accompanied by the Chinese Government’s commitment, not to dump mining waste into the sea from its investments abroad such as in Central Sulawesi, “he said, adding that he rejected plans to dispose of tailings waste in the Morowali sea region.

In addition, Taufik hopes that the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government, through this petition, can also show leadership in climate mitigation by placing the ocean as a blue carbon zone, by not recommending the disposal of mine waste into the sea in Central Sulawesi that can endanger biodiversity, such as the plan to dump tailings waste into the morowali sea because it endangers the biodiversity that lives in morowali sea waters.

Pius Ginting, Coordinator of AEER stated “Chinese President Xi Jinping’s climate commitment that the People’s Republic of China no longer builds new power plants abroad needed to be confirmed by disclosing information to the public that it no longer support additional new power plants in nickel industrial estates related to Chinese investment in Central Sulawesi. And strive in the near future to replace power plants that have been operating with renewable energy.  This will be good for the climate and good for the health of Bahodopi residents who have become victims of air pollution.

Pius added, the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government should encourage the nickel industry not to become a center for greenhouse gas emissions because it will be bad for the image of nickel batteries from Central Sulawesi.

Media Contact:

Moh Taufik, Coordinator of JATAM Sulteng, upiik. Sondang94@gmail.com

Pius Ginting, AEER Kordiantor, pginting@aeer.info

The Impact of Climate Change is Getting Stronger, Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) Need To Exclude Fossil Energy In Investments

Press Release

Perkumpulan AEER & Trend Asia

January, 28th 2021

The government is currently forming an Investment Management Institution or the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA), with an initial capital of IDR 75 trillion rupiahs which is expected to attract investment funds from abroad. Environmental organizations expect the INA to have a policy on the fossil industry. Fossil energy is the cause of climate change which is becoming increasingly impactful.

Researchers reveal that there will be an increase in rainfall in the tropics due to the impact of climate change.

The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is predicted to be affected by climate change. The frequency and power of extreme El Nino and La Nina have the potential to increase. today, the extreme phase of ENSO occurs once every 20 years. But at the end of the 21st century, in an aggressive greenhouse gas emission scenario, this extreme phase could occur once every 10 years. Indonesia as a country located on the equator of the western Pacific Ocean will experience extreme rainfall during the extreme La Nina situation.

Flooding in South Kalimantan, January 2021 photo source: Antara

Pius Ginting, Coordinator of Perkumpulan AEER said that hydrometeorological disasters from floods to rising sea levels are increasing along with global warming caused by the use of fossil energy. Huge costs or fatalities have occurred. Providing jobs field by developing the coal and plantation industry is ineffective and the impact loss is bigger.

Such as the flood in South Kalimantan, despite a lot of mining and plantation investment, there are 80,000 unemployed, 800,000 underemployed, and 590,000 part-time workers. Therefore, an investment policy from the INA is needed so that it does not support the business of developing fossil energy, particularly coal.

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On the other hand, Ahmad Ashov Birry, Program Director of Trend Asia, said it is necessary to remember that INA stands on a controversial law product that has received massive and widespread resistance from the public, and concerns from global investors based on the great potential for conflict of interest in the fossil industry, starting from the formulation process until the final product.

Rejection from the community is also based on the negative socio-environmental and economic impacts of the fossil industry, especially coal, which have not been resolved and the responsibility is unclear.

We expect INA to make policies that do not support infrastructure, which encourages fossil energy, such as coal railroads and ports.

A study from the #BersihkanIndonesia Coalition, correlated to the national strategic project which will be financed by INA, found that the majority of national strategic projects and programs have the potential to be related to fossil energy, high density of pollution, emissions, and damage to the land. also, have the potential to marginalize communities and violate human rights.

By incorporating supporting infrastructure for fossil energy into businesses managed by INA, it will narrow the amount of investment from institutions that already have green criteria that do not support investment in fossil energy, particularly coal.

INA investment should be made in sectors that are pro-environment, including renewable energy development because Indonesia’s energy system is still dominated by fossil fuels. On the other hand, the INA management must also avoid conflicts of interest in the fossil industry, particularly coal.

Media Contact:

  1. Pius Ginting-Coordinator of Perkumpulan AEER (Aksi Ekologi dan Emansipasi Rakyat)

pginting@aeer.info

  1. Ahmad Ashov Birry-Program Director of Trend Asia

Hp: 08111757246

Hua Pioneer’s Steps to Cancel Request for Permit to Dispose of Tailings in the Morowali Sea Should Be the Standard for All Companies

Press Release Aksi Ekologi dan Emansipasi Rakyat (AEER), Jatam Sulawesi Tengah, Yayasan Tanah Merdeka

Nickel company for electric vehicle batteries, Hua Pioneer canceled the permit request disposal of tailings to the Morowali sea. Nani Hendiarti, Deputy for Management Coordination Environment and Forestry Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and investment, revealed that the withdrawal of the permit request related to the complexity of tailings impacts at the sea.

Fishery village in Morowali, nearby Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP)

Previously, four companies that would operate in the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) planned to dispose 25 million tons of tailings annually into the sea. The total investment reached USD 4.79 billion. Two of them, PT QMB New Energy Materials and PT Huayue Nickel & Cobalt, have started smelter construction since 2019. Products in the form of mixed hydroxide precipitate and nickel sulfate will used as raw material for the cathode of electric vehicle batteries.

The disposal of tailings into the sea is the least expensive method, compared to onshore management such as tailings dam or drystack. This method poses great risk to coastal ecosystems and communities. The biodiversity and function of marine ecosystems will be threatened by the injection of large volumes of tailings containing various toxic metal wastes.

Many countries have abandoned and opposed the overboard tailings disposal method. The United States and Canada prohibit this practice. Even China is included in the 51 countries supporting the prohibition of the disposal tailings practice into the sea in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Congress 2016.

Moh Taufik, Coordinator of Central Sulawesi’s JATAM stated that “the cancellation of the tailings disposal plan carried out by PT Hua Pioneer Indonesia is one of the good news for coastal communities in the coastal marine area of Morowali Regency. This will save the deep waters of Morowali coral triangle, which is the water area in the western Pacific Ocean, including Indonesia, which contains very high species diversity (nearly 600 species of coral reefs) and supports the surrounding marine biota. At least 3,000 ha of coral reefs under the sea Morowali, especially ± 710 ha in Bahodopi District, in 2018, Morowali became the highest producer of captured marine fisheries in Central Sulawesi with 34.12 kilotons, equivalent to Rp. 678.9 billion. This rich ecosystem is a habitat for many marine life including fish caught by fishermen.

From our findings also in the Central Sulawesi Regional Regulation concerning the Zoning Plan for Coastal Areas and Small Islands (RZWPK3) Number 10 of 2017, location of submarine piped water plan for tailings placement, in Fatufia Village, Bahodopi District, Morowali Regency which is planned by PT. Hua Pioneer Indonesia, not regulated in the Central Sulawesi Regional Regulation on RZWPK3 No. 10 of 2017, as stated in Article 31 paragraph (3). So, there really is no reason to carry out a tailings disposal plan, which will bring disaster to the Morowali marine coastal area.”

Since the industry developed, fishermen have to go to sea further because of the waste from coal-fired power plants and land the remaining red nickel ore is dumped into the sea where they usually catch fish. Consequently it needs more a lot of costs.

Pius Ginting, the Coordinator of AEER, stated that this step should be as an standard for other companies in Indonesia to protect Indonesia’s marine ecosystem. Currently, there are nickel companies still waiting for permits to dispose of their tailings into the sea on Obi Island. The planned volume of tailings to be disposed of is 6 million tons per year. There is an upwelling phenomenon at the disposal plan site tailings in the waters west of Obi Island, the mass of sea water rises to the surface thereby increasing the danger of tailings disposal into the sea. This practice violates the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No. P.12 of 2018 which prohibits the disposal of tailings in the waters with an upwelling phenomenon. There is still little marine research the impact of tailings on deep sea ecosystems is not well known. This plan should receive special attention because it will give a dirty image to Indonesia’s nickel battery products in the global market.

Yayasan Tanah Merdeka Foundation stated that the nickel industry is expected not to pursue competitive victories by ignore local residents and the welfare of workers. Three trade union leaders were fired after organizing demonstrations demanding improvements in the quality of working conditions last August. They are Afdal (Morowali Industrial Workers Union), Sahlun Saidi (Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union Morowali), and Agus Salim (Morowali Indonesian National Workers Union Federation).

The encouragement for downstreaming through electric vehicle batteries by providing the benefits of clean air in cities should not leave a trail of destruction of marine and land biodiversity in remote areas, marginalizing the lives of local residents and workers who are not prosperous.

In addition, the nickel battery project is not a new source of carbon emissions that is contrary to the initial goal of electrifying global vehicles with the use of coal-fired power plants. The capacity of the coal-fired power plants in the IMIP area will reach 2410 MW with several units in the construction process.

On Anti Dumping Costs for Nickel Products Export to the European Union

Stop the Inexpensive Nickel Product Policy, Improve Labor Welfare, Stop Using Coal Power Plants, and Cancel Plans to Dispose Waste Into the Sea

Press Release, June 3, 2020

Perkumpulan Aksi Ekologi & Emansipasi Rakyat (AEER), Jatam Central Sulawesi, Yayasan Tanah Merdeka

.The cheap prices of processed nickel ore products produced in Indonesia are inseparable from cheap labor costs and incomplete environmental standards from the beginning to the post-mining period. Nickel products produced from Indonesia in the form of hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils (SSHR) are cheaper on the international market. This triggers the European Union to impose anti-dumping fees on nickel products from Indonesia.

Labor of Morowali in a protest

The cheap prices of processed nickel ore products produced in Indonesia are inseparable from cheap labor costs and incomplete environmental standards from the beginning to the post-mining period. Nickel products produced from Indonesia in the form of hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils (SSHR) are cheaper on the international market. This triggers the European Union to impose anti-dumping fees on nickel products from Indonesia.

The European Union is examining the possibility of dumping two nickel products from Indonesia. That is PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel, Jakarta (‘ITSS’),  PT Indonesia Guang Ching Nickel and Stainless Steel Industry, Jakarta (‘GCNS’).

PT. CGNS has a production capacity of 600,000 per year, buying semi-finished nickel products from supplier companies located at PT IMIP, consuming 6 million tons of nickel ore at 1,9%. The fuel needed for drying and burning nickel ore is coal powder, with a quantity of lignite of 480,000 tons per year.

PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) with a stainless steel production capacity of 1 million tons per year and 1 rolling production line with a production capacity of 2 million tons per year, buys supplies from companies located at IMIP.

In the decision of the European Union Commission on 7 April 2020, applying an anti-dumping levy of 17% for the two companies products is valid for the next six months for several types (HS code).

Based on Foreign Trade Statistics of Central Sulawesi Province in 2018, there are 4 types of nickel products with the same HS code subject to anti-dumping fees.

If production remains the same as in 2018, with an estimated 3% export to the European market from the Port of Kolonodale, Central Sulawesi, then the total levied from anti-dumping costs in 6 months is USD 5.064.478,50 or equal to IDR 73.434.938.198,60 (with an exchange rate of 1 USD = IDR 14,500).

This amount is very large compared to some types of expenditure of the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government. For example Capital Expenditures for Equipment and Machines – Procurement of Teaching Aids / School Practices in 2019 amounting to IDR 64.475.000.000,00, or Capital Expenditures for Buildings – Procurement of Health Buildings in the amount of IDR 32.007.311.133,00. The cost of dumping is equivalent to raising the annual salary of 10.000 workers in Morowali by 17%.

The consequences of anti-dumping certainly have added value which is not enjoyed by laborers, citizens around the mining and local environmental protection and rehabilitation. Workers complain about the long working hours even in the midst of a pandemic.

The target of low export prices is unsustainable, detrimental to the environment, labor, and affected citizens.

The imposition of anti-dumping costs is related to the protection of the industry of the market countries, but this is inseparable from the policy of the nickel industry which suppresses the lowest costs.

This anti-dumping can be avoided by increasing labor costs which will improve the overall local people’s economy, post-mining environmental management, the application of best air pollution technology so that citizen complaints in the form of dust from the nickel industry coal  power plant does not occur (will ultimately reduce the health of citizens).

 The government is also expected to not implement the disposal of nickel processing waste into the sea for low cost, because cheap nickel products only sacrifice the surrounding residents, laborers, terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

AEER Urges the Government not to Include Coal Power Plant in the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) Agenda Meeting, April 2019

Press Release 2 April 2019

The Indonesian government is preparing an investment agenda for the Belt Road Initiative meeting which will take place at the end of April 2019 in Beijing. There are four coal-fired power plant (PLTU) projects offered for investment, namely the Celukan Bawang Expansion (2 x 350 MW) in Bali, the Kalselteng mine-mouth coal-fired power plant 3 (2 x 100 MW) in Central Kalimatan, the Kalselteng mine-mouth coal-fired power plant 4 (2 x 100 MW) in Central Kalimatan, and 1,000 MW PLTU in North Kalimantan. A coal generating unit aged 20 to 30 years. This means that the construction of coal plants a locking-in investment, closing the space for developing renewable energy in a long time.

Mardan Pius Ginting, Coordinator of the AEER (Action for Ecology and Emancipation of the People) said that the locations of the PLTU that are to be offered into BRI have problems. The exisiting Celukan Bawang has experiencing opposition from fishermen and has received international attention because it is located on the island of Bali which is the main tourism area where visitors are looking for a place that has clean air. Even the Governor of Bali has urged the termination of the use of coal for the Celukan Bawang power plant which has been operating.

Central Kalimantan, one of the provinces experiencing the widest deforestation due to the development of mining and plantations. Recorded in 2016 deforestation occurred in the area of ​​44,726.3 are. By developing mine-mouth coal-fired power plants, the area so far relatively isolated from investment will be opened to become a mining area  to supply coal for the mine-mouth coal-fired power plants. Based on the RUPTL (Electricity Supply Business Plan), Central Kalimantan has renewable energy sources, including water. It is better to develop hydropower with limited capacity that needs to be developed in line with forest conservation.

North Kalimantan itself has plans for construction of hydroelectric power. Construction of a coalpower plant in North Kalimantan will expand deforestation for its coal supply.

Financing of this coal-fired power plant inhibits the development of renewable energy.

The price of wind and solar power technology continues to decrease, but its application into the electricity system has been hampered because the government wants to protect the electricity market from coal power plant sources. This is reflected in the obstacles made by the government for the installation of solar electricity in Jakarta, including by only valuing 65% of each unit of electricity produced from solar power. This is a form of disincentive for the development of renewable energy.

Coal-fired power plant has created environmental damage, health and exacerbated global warming. The world is working on a transition to leaving the Coal Power Plant. Protests against the continuing use of fossil fuels occur in many countries, and even school children participate in large mobilizations against the use of fossil fuels which are a source of greenhouse gases.

The Indonesian government should not conflict with global flows that want to get out of using of coal fuel. By fighting this flow, the damage is actually experienced by the people of Indonesia. Environmental damage in the coal mining area continues, air pollution from the plant adds to the number of sick people while the health budget through BPJS is increasingly felt to be a burden by the government, destruction of fishing grounds due to liquid waste disposal and massive coal barge traffic at the site PLTU (coal power plant).

In order to be in line with the global flow that requires immediate action to overcome global warming, the Indonesian Government was asked not to include coal-fired power plants in the Belt Road Initiative negotiations.

Press Release on National Children Day

The government must stop children from becoming victims of coal power plant pollution

 Jakarta (24 Juli 2017) Indonesia is celebrating the 23rd of July as Children Day. As more coal power plants have been built in Indonesia, more children become victims of the air pollution. AEER (Aksi Ekologi dan Emansipasi Rakyat) and its network have been documenting coal power plant impacts on children. AEER found several cases where children suffered from upper respiratory tract infections. Among them, were children, that had taken medical treatment over a periode of six months as ordered by a doctor, who is specialist in respiratory diseases.

The coal industry knows very well about the health impacts resulting from the  air pollution caused by coal power plants. One of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a company mentioned that: “bad air quality will impact community health and the flora that is located around the project. Disturbance on human health will be manifested in the upper respiratory tract.”

 Also it mentioned: “if communities that are exposed to the dust inhale it, the dust will penetrate into the alveoli. The accumulation in the lungs will cause a sickness called pneumoconiosis.

Based on the EIAs of coal power plants, there are companies emitting pollutants to the ambient air causing pollutant concentration above air quality criteria. Coal power plants mainly emit pollutants in the form of fine particulate dust which, according to medical doctors, is very dangerous to blood vessels. Other pollutants are sulphur dioxide, besides causing acid rain it also forms particulate matter, and nitrogen oxide, which is created during high temperature burning (more that 1000oC) forming fine particulates.

Children are the most vulnerable group suffering from the impacts of air pollution caused by coal power plants, along with elder people and people with heart and lung sickness history.

Concerning all of this, the government should stop building new coal power plants. It should further limit the life cycle of existing coal power plants to not more than 20 years. And upon the existing coal power plants, the government should oblige all units to use the best available technology to prevent pollution. All companies have to build air pollution monitoring stations in the surrounding area of community settlements. Companies have to be transparent and accountable towards communities with regular monitoring reports. (end).

 

Contact media:

Pius Ginting, aeermail@gmail.com

081293993460