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Protest against pollution from coal power plant, Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia

The operation and expansion of the Chinese bulit large CFPP in Cilacap is met by protests by local communities as a response to severe negative health impacts and livelihood losses.


In 2003, a Chinese-Indonesian consortium of companies was granted a construction permit for a 600MW (2 x 300MW) coal power station in Cilacap Regency, Central Java. The construction of the first two units was financed through a lone from Bank of China, and the plant was inaugurated in 2006 [1].  The power station is owned and operated by PT Sumber Segara Primadya (S2P), which is a joint venture between PT Sumberenergi Sakti Prima (SSP) and PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali (PJB).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Protest against pollution from coal power plant, Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia
State or province:Central Java
Location of conflict: Karangkandri Village, Kesugihan District, Cilacap 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:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

UNIT 1 + 2

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Project area:38
Level of Investment:2,610,000,000 [1] [2] [10]
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:approx. 1000 (direct impacts, in close proximity to the plant)
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:PT Sumber Segara Primadaya (S2P)
PT Sumberenergi Sakti Prima (SSP) from Indonesia
PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali (PJB) from Indonesia
Relevant government actors:Cilacap Environment Agency (DLH)
Cilacap Regency Government
Government of Indonesia
Government of China
International and Finance InstitutionsBank of China from China
China Development Bank (CDB) from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Forum Masyarakat Winong Peduli Lingkungan (FMWPL)
The Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI),
LBH Yogyakarta,
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Waste overflow, Global warming
Potential: Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsRespiratory diseases, bronchitis and skin rashes
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:The results of the additional investigation of the environmental and health impacts promised by the Cilacap Regent were never made public, and the evaluation of company practices was never conducted.
The results of the additional investigation of the environmental and health impacts promised by the Cilacap Regent were never made public, and the evaluation of company practices was never conducted.
Development of alternatives:Local residents and supporting organizations demand a proper investigation into the plant's impact on surrounding communities, and that it be closed permanently.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite mobilization and protests, the expansion of the facility is still underway.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Regulation No. 27 of 2012 regarding Environmental Permits

Decree of the Regent No. 660.1/425/30

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[9] TribunJateng (2019c). Warga Salarang Cilacap Sebut Penyelesaian Dampak PLTU oleh KLH dan Bupati Hanya Wacana.
[click to view]

[4] Listrik (2015). PLN Teken Kontrak PLTU Cilacap Ekspansi 1000 MW.
[click to view]

[1] China Aid Data (2019a). Bank of China loan for construction of 2x300MW Cilacap power plant (linked to #34748).
[click to view]

[2] China Aid Data (2019b). China Development Bank loan for the construction of Cilacap power plant extension (Linked to 34801).
[click to view]

[3] Rambu Energy (2016). Indonesia’s Sumber Segara kicks off construction of PLTU Cilacap 2nd expansion.
[click to view]

[5] Mongabay (2018). Derita Warga Cilacap Hidup Bersama Pembangkit
[click to view]

[6] Mongabay (2019). Hundreds protest pollution from coal-fired power plant in Java.
[click to view]

[7] TribunJateng (2019a). 35 Orang Terkena Bronkitis, Warga Winong Tuntut Pemindahan Lokasi Pembuangan Limbah PLTU Cilacap.
[click to view]

[8] TribunJateng (2019b). Tuntut Penanganan Limbah PLTU Karangkandri Warga Winong Cilacap Demo di Depan Kantor DLH Cilacap.
[click to view]

Rambu Energy (2019). President Joko Widodo officiates PLTU Cilacap Expansion I.
[click to view]

[10] Business Indonesia (2019). Project Update Coal Steam Fired Power Plant.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[11] Mongabay Series: Indonesian coal. Indonesia ‘must stop building new coal plants by 2020’ to meet climate goals by Indra Nugraha on 2 December 2019 .
[click to view]

Other documents

Protesters hold up a sign that says “The People Need Clean Air.” Source:
[click to view]

Protesters hold up a banner that reads “The People Are Showered With Coal Ash.” Source:
[click to view]

Children protesting against the power plant at the Cilacap Regent's office Source:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Emmy Iwarsson (ICTA-UAB)
Last update24/12/2019
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