Last update:
2020-12-07

Pangkalan Susu Coal-fired Power Plant, North Sumatra, Indonesia

The Pangkalan Susu coal-fired power plant, constructed in two phases, continues to negatively affect the local environment and population in multiple ways, despite persistent opposition over the years.


Description:

The Pangkalan Susu Power Plant is an 840MW coal-fired power plant consisting of two initial 220MW units and two 200MW units that were constructed later. It can be found in Tanjung Pasir Village, Pangkalan Susu District in the Langkat Regency of North Sumatra Province, Indonesia. The first two units were commissioned by the Indonesian state electricity distribution company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and were constructed by the Chinese company Guangdong Power Engineering Corporation, starting in 2007 [1]. This was done within the framework of the Indonesian government’s plan to construct an extra 10,000MW of capacity by 2010 [2]. They were both (belatedly) in operation by June 2015 and ultimately cost about US$329 million in total [3]. PLN continued to manage these units itself until August 2018, when it placed this responsibility in the hands of its subsidiary Indonesia Power [4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Pangkalan Susu Coal-fired Power Plant, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Country:Indonesia
State or province:North Sumatra
Location of conflict:Tanjung Pasir Village, Pangkalan Susu District, Langkat Regency
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Land
Electricity
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The power plant has a total capacity of 840MW divided over four units, two of which are capable of producing 220MW each and two of which can generate 200MW each. It uses a 275kV transmission network to deliver its electricity supply. Units 1 and 2 need approximately 480,000 tons of coal per year, while units 3 and 4 use (both together) about 2.16 million metric tons per year (with a caloric value of approximately 4,200kcal/kg). Using this coal, the two latter units produce an average of 118.54 million kWh/month, which is then distributed across North Sumatra. As of February 2020, they had managed to produce about 950 million kWh since the start of their activities [11] [12].

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Project area:105
Level of Investment:767,550,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Approximately 3,900
Start of the conflict:24/10/2009
Company names or state enterprises:Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PT PLN Persero) from Indonesia - Commissioned all four units of the power plant
Guangdong Power Engineering Corporation from China - Constructed the first two units of the power plant
Indonesia Power from Indonesia - Manages units 1 and 2 since 2018
Sinohydro Corporation Limited (Sinohydro) from China - Constructed units 3 and 4, now operates them
Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) from China - Parent company of Sinohydro Corporation Ltd
PT Nusantara Energi Mandiri from Indonesia - Constructed units 3 and 4, now operates them
PT Energi Batubara Lestari from Indonesia - Supplies coal to units 1 and 2
PT Batara Batari Sinergi Nusantra from Indonesia - Supplies coal to units 1 and 2
PT Hanson Energi Baturaja from Indonesia - Supplies coal to units 1 and 2
PT Corby Putra Utama from Indonesia - Supplies coal to units 1 and 2
PT Ogan Energi from Indonesia - Supplies coal to units 1 and 2
PT Bukit Sumut from Indonesia - Supplies coal to units 3 and 4
PT Arutmin Indonesia from Indonesia - Supplies coal to units 3 and 4
Relevant government actors:- Government of Indonesia (both generally, and more specifically the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Finance)
- Langkat Regency Government
- North Sumatra Provincial Government
International and Finance InstitutionsThe Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) - https://www.walhi.or.id/
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Students
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Potential: Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsPotential respiratory, carcinogenic, and other diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:All units of the plant are operating, despite relatively recent opposition
Development of alternatives:Protesters urged the government to stop using fossil fuels and switch over to renewable energy that is environmentally friendly. They implored authorities to reduce their dependence on coal energy.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:While opposition has been seemingly absent for quite a while - despite the plant still fully operating - it also seems unlikely that the discontent expressed over the years will go away quietly, as the plant continues to have a multitude of negative socio-environmental impacts on its surroundings.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Presidential Regulation No. 71/2006 concerning the Assignment of Perusahaan Listrik Negara to Accelerate the Development of Power Plants Using Coal
[click to view]

Law No. 13/2003 concerning Manpower
[click to view]

Regulation of the Ministry of Manpower No. 02/2008 concerning Procedures for Foreign Workers
[click to view]

Regulation of the Ministry of Forestry No. 43/2008 concerning Borrowing and Use of Forest Areas
[click to view]

Law No. 28/2002 concerning Buildings - Law imposing building regulations, including the need for a building permit (IMB)
[click to view]

PP36/2005 concerning the Implementation Regulation of Law No. 28/2002 concerning Buildings - Implementation of Law No. 28/2002 mentioned above
[click to view]

[1] The Jakarta Post (2014). Land dispute delays operation of N . Sumatra power plant. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[2] Medan Bisnis Daily (2013). PLTU Pangkalan Susu Beroperasi Tahun Ini. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[3] Global Energy Monitor Wiki (n.d.). Pangkalan Susu power station. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[4] Industry.co.id (2018). Indonesia Power Sebagai Pengelola PLTU Pangkalan Susu. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[8] AidData (2017). Exim Bank loans $373m to Indonesia for Pangkalan Susu Steam Coal Power Plant. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[9] DetikFinance (2015). PLTU Pangkalan Susu Beroperasi, Krisis Listrik di Sumut Berkurang. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[14] Liputan 6 (2009). Tak Punya Izin, Pemkab Langkat Segel PLTU. Accessed 19th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[5] Akset Law (2015). MEMR Announces 35,000 MW Power Plant Construction Program. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[6] Republika.co.id (2014). Dana PLTU Pangkalan Susu Segera Disetujui. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[7] Directorate General of Financing and Risk Management (2015). Penandatanganan Perjanjian Pinjaman Dengan CEXIM Untuk Pembiayaan Proyek Takalar Steam Power Plant Dan Pangkalan Susu Coal Fired Steam Power Plant. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[10] Antara News North Sumatra (2019). PLN Sumut dapat tambahan daya 240 MW pada April 2019. Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[11] Mongabay (2019). Bongkar Muat Batubara PLTU Pangkalan Susu Potensi Cemari Laut, Berikut Foto dan Video. Accessed 19th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[12] CNBC Indonesia (2020). PLTU Pangkalan Susu 3 & 4 Bikin Setrum di Sumut Kian Andal. Accessed 19th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[16] Antara News North Sumatra (2013). Warga Protes Pembangunan PLTU Pangkalan Susu. Accessed 19th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[15] Antara News Bengkulu (2012). Guru tharikat sedih pembangunan PLTU terhenti. Accessed 19th November. 2020.
[click to view]

[13] Wikipedia (n.d.). Tanjung Pasir ( Pangkalan Susu). Accessed 18th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[20] Orbit Digital (2019). Diduga Akibat Limbah Batubara PLTU, Petambak Udang Vaname Pangkalan Susu Merugi. Accessed 20th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[17] Antara News Bengkulu (2019). Nelayan dan aktivis desak penutupan PLTU Pangkalan Susu. Accessed 19th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[22] Antara News North Sumatra (2019). Wakil Bupati berharap pencemaran di pesisir pantai Pangkalan Susu dapat dituntaskan. Accessed 20th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[18] Antara News North Sumatra (2019). Lantai dermaga PLTU Pangkalan Susu roboh , satu pekerja tewas. Accessed 20th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[21] Maklumat News (2018). PLTU Pangkalan Susu , Ancam Kedaulatan Pangan Memperburuk Perubahan Iklim. Accessed 20th November, 2020.
[click to view]

[19] Antara News North Sumatra (2019). Pekerja PLTU Pangkalan Susu Langkat meninggal karena kecelakaan kerja. Accessed 20th November, 2020.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Activists in the Malacca Strait filming the shipping of coal to the Pangkalan Susu power plant and interviewing locals, posted on YouTube
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:AK, BG
Last update07/12/2020
Comments
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