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Cirebon I and II Coal Power Plants, West Java, Indonesia


Description:

The first unit of the Cirebon coal power plant (Cirebon I), located in Kanci Village, was put in operation in July 2012. The 660 MW plant is operated by PT Cirebon Electric Power (CEP), which is a joint venture between some of Asia’s leading companies on the energy and infrastructure arena: Marubeni Corporation, Indika Energy, Korean Midland Power, and Samtan Corporation [1]. The project was financed through a USD 595 million loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) and the commercial actors ING Bank, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation & Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ [2].

 In 2013 plans were released to expand the facility by adding another coal-fired unit – Cirebon II – with a capacity of 1 GW [3]. Before the project took ground, PT CEP changed its name to PT Cirebon Energi Prasarana (CEPR) as JERA Co was added to the consortium of investing companies. PT CEPR was granted yet another loan from the same group of financiers, which this time amounted to USD 1,750 million [2] [4] [5].

Local residents have faced substantial livelihood losses as a result of air, thermal, and water pollution from the power station. Fishing is a main source of income in the region, but catches are drastically decreasing. Whereas before fish and shrimps could be caught close to the coastline or the beach, it is now necessary to go further out at sea. Naturally, this has raised operational costs and led to many fishermen becoming migrant workers. Salt production is another main income-bringing activity, which is now becoming increasingly difficult due to waste and dust from the power plant polluting the sea and river waters [6]. Air pollution is affecting rice yields, and villagers suffer from respiratory problems due to reduced air quality [7] [8]. Fearing that the adverse impacts from the plant will worsen as it expands, local residents advocate for Cirabon I to be closed, and the expansion of Cirabon II to be stopped [9].

Widespread mobilization against the operations of Cirebon I and the construction of Cirebon II has been seen, both nationally and internationally. In 2016, activists climbed cranes of the Cirebon I facility, blocking the coal supply [7]. Additionally, villagers and ENGOs have sent several formal complaint letters to JBIC and the commercial lenders, without receiving any response [9]. In March 2017, a petition signed by 280 CSOs from 47 countries was handed over to the Japanese government, calling for a withdrawal of investments from the Cirebon facilities as well as the coal-fired power plant located in Indramayu, also in West Java, which both have JBIC as their main financier. Initial signatories of the petition were WALHI Indonesia, Friends of the Earth Japan, Japan Centre for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), Kiko Network Japan, and 350.org Japan. The petition was handed over by three Indramayu residents and representatives from WALHI West Java who had travelled to Tokyo [10] [11]. There has also been mobilization against the commercial lenders, as well as against Hyundai Engineering & Construction, which was contracted for the construction of Cirebon II and bribed the Cirebon Regent to calm protesting community members [12] [13].

 

In April 2017, residents supported by several NGOs filed a lawsuit (No. 124/G/LH/2016/PTUN-BDG) against the Provincial Investment and Licensing Agency (BPMPT) for issuing the environmental permits for the plant. The court found the permit to stand in conflict with spatial planning laws, and it was thus revoked [14] [15] However, after having appealed, PT CEPR regained its permit [16]. The legal battle is still on-going, since a number of NGOs continue to send review letters questioning the issuing of the permit [17]. However, in February 2019 it was announced that 24% of the construction of Cirabon II was completed, and that the plant is on track to commence its operations by 2022 [3].  

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Cirebon I and II Coal Power Plants, West Java, Indonesia
Country:Indonesia
State or province:West Java
Location of conflict:Cirebon Regency, Astanajapura District, Kanci Village
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Coal

Project Details and Actors

Project details

CIREBON I

Coal consumption: 2.3 million ton/year

Capacity: 660 MW

Main steam temperature: 569 degrees

Transmission line: +1.5 km

CIREBON II

Coal consumption: 3.2 million ton/year

Capacity: 1 GW

Main stream temperature: 600 degrees

Transmission line: 18.2 km

[18]

Project area:204.5
Level of Investment:Cirebon I 877.5 million and Cirebon II 2 billion
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:-
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:JERA Co., Inc. from Japan - Investor in Cireban II
Marubeni Corporation from Japan - Investor in Cireban I & II
PT Indika Energy Tbk (INDY) from Indonesia - Investor in Cireban I & II
Korea Midland Power Co., Ltd. (KOMPIO) from Republic of Korea - Investor in Cireban I & II
Samtan Co., Ltd. from Republic of Korea - Investor in Cireban I & II
Relevant government actors:The Government of the Republic of Indonesia
The Cirebon Regency Government
The Bali Province Government
The Government of the Republic of Korea South Korea
The Government of Japan
International and Finance InstitutionsING Bank NV from Netherlands
Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) (KEXIM) from Republic of Korea
Mizohu Bank, Ltd. (MHBK) from Japan
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) from Japan
The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) from Japan
Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC ) from Japan
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:WALHI West Java, https://walhi.or.id/
Bandung Legal Aid
Friends of the Earth Japan, http://www.foejapan.org/en/
Japan Centre for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), http://jacses.org/en/
Kiko Network Japan, https://www.kikonet.org/
350.org Japan, https://world.350.org/ja/
and more...

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Development of alternatives:Most EJOs involved in the mobilization advocate for the operations of Cirabon I to be stopped, and the construction of Cirabon II to be cancelled.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The legal process is still on-going, and it could be that the court rules in favour of the citizens' objection to the EIA granted. However, since the construction seems to be proceeding according to plan, the chances for a complete revocation look bleak.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Law no 32 year 2009 on the Environment

No. 13 of 2017 concerning Amendment to Government Regulation No. 26/2008 concerning National Spatial Planning

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Cirebon Power (2019a). Companies.
https://www.cirebonpower.co.id/cirebon-power/companies/

[3] Rambu Energy (2019). Cirabon Power to begin commercial operational in 2022.
https://www.rambuenergy.com/2019/02/cirebon-power-to-begin-commercial-operational-in-2022/

[4] Indonesia Investments (2017). Construction on Indonesia’s Cirebon Power Plant Expansion already Started.
https://www.indonesia-investments.com/news/news-columns/construction-on-indonesia-s-cirebon-power-plant-expansion-project-started/item8362

[12] EerlijkeBankwijer (2017). ING Again involved in controversial energy project.
https://eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl/bankwijzer/nieuws/2017/ing-opnieuw-betrokken-bij-controversieel-energieproject/

[13] Korea Times (2019) Hyundai admits bribing Indonesian politician for power plant construction.
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2019/05/693_268175.html

[14] Bank Track (2019b). Cirebon 2 coal power plant.
https://www.banktrack.org/project/cirebon3/0/www.marubeni.com

[5] BankTrack (2019a). Cirebon 2 coal power plant.
https://www.banktrack.org/project/cirebon3

[15] Walhi 2017. Cirebon power plant developer request for a permit revision is a disregard to Indonesian law and must not be granted.
http://walhi.or.id/cirebon-power-plant-developer-request-permit-revision-disregard-indonesian-law-must-not-granted

[6] Mongabay (2016). Begini Nasib Netayan yang Bertetangga dengan Pembangkit Listrik Batubara di Cirebon.
https://www.mongabay.co.id/2016/03/26/begini-nasib-nelayan-yang-bertetangga-dengan-pembangkit-listrik-batubara-di-cirebon/

[16] Cirebon Power (2017). Two giant PLTU Project Still On Going.
https://www.cirebonpower.co.id/two-giant-pltu-projects-still-on-going/

[7] Mongabay (2017). Indonesian court revokes environmental license for the Cirebon Coal plant expansion.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/04/indonesian-court-revokes-environmental-license-for-the-cirebon-coal-plant-expansion/

[16] Cirebon power 2017. Two giant PLTU Project Still On Going.
https://www.cirebonpower.co.id/two-giant-pltu-projects-still-on-going/

[17] Ayo Semanang (2019). Organisasi Warga Minta Izin Lingkungan PLTU PT CEP Cirebon Dikaji Kembali.
https://www.ayosemarang.com/read/2019/08/07/41686/organisasi-warga-minta-izin-lingkungan-pltu-pt-cep-cirebon-dikaji-kembali

[18] Cirebon Power (2019b). In numbers.
https://www.cirebonpower.co.id/did-you-know/in-numbers/

[8] Fair Finance Guide (2019). The unheard protests of people in Cirebon, Indonesia.
https://fairfinanceguide.org/ffg-international/stories-of-change/2019/the-unheard-protests-of-people-in-cirebon-indonesia/#_ftn3

[1] Cirebon Power (2019a). Companies
https://www.cirebonpower.co.id/cirebon-power/companies/

[9] Go Fossil Free 2017. Indonesian Farmers and Fishermen Deliver a Clear Message to Japan: Stop Funding Dirty Coal.
https://gofossilfree.org/indonesian-farmers-and-fishermen-deliver-a-clear-message-to-japan-stop-funding-dirty-coal/

[11] FoE Japan (2017b). Re: Japanese Government must Reject Financing the Cirebon and Indramayu Coal-fired Power Plants, West Java, Indonesia.
http://www.foejapan.org/aid/jbic02/indramayu/pdf/20170323_e_signed.pdf

[2] JBIC (2017). Project Finance for Expansion of Cirebon Coal-fired Power Plant in Indonesia: Supporting Japanese Companies’ Participation in IPP project for ultra-supercritical power plant.
https://www.jbic.go.jp/en/information/press/press-2017/1114-58532.html

[2] JBIC (2017). Project Finance for Expansion of Cirebon Coal-fired Power Plant in Indonesia: Supporting Japanese Companies’ Participation in IPP project for ultra-supercritical power plant
https://www.jbic.go.jp/en/information/press/press-2017/1114-58532.html

[9] Go Fossil Free (2017). Indonesian Farmers and Fishermen Deliver a Clear Message to Japan: Stop Funding Dirty Coal.
https://gofossilfree.org/indonesian-farmers-and-fishermen-deliver-a-clear-message-to-japan-stop-funding-dirty-coal/

[15] WALHI (2017). Cirebon power plant developer request for a permit revision is a disregard to Indonesian law and must not be granted.
http://walhi.or.id/cirebon-power-plant-developer-request-permit-revision-disregard-indonesian-law-must-not-granted

Eco-Business (2017). Indonesian court revokes environmental license for the Cirebon coal plant expansion.
https://www.eco-business.com/news/indonesian-court-revokes-environmental-license-for-the-cirebon-coal-plant-expansion/

Power-Technology (2019). Cirebon coal-fired power plant expansion, West Java.
https://www.power-technology.com/projects/cirebon-coal-fired-power-plant-expansion-west-java/

[4] Indonesia Investments (2017). Construction on Indonesia’s Cirebon Power Plant Expansion Already Started.
https://www.indonesia-investments.com/news/news-columns/construction-on-indonesia-s-cirebon-power-plant-expansion-project-started/item8362

Meta information

Contributor:Emmy Iwarsson (ICTA-UAB)
Last update30/10/2019

Images

 

Activists climbing cranes of Cirebon I in May 2016

Source: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/04/indonesian-court-revokes-environmental-license-for-the-cirebon-coal-plant-expansion/

Local fishermen awaiting the Bandung Administrative Court ruling in front of the court house in April 2017

Source: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/04/indonesian-court-revokes-environmental-license-for-the-cirebon-coal-plant-expansion/

Group of local residents and NGO representatives protesting in front of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo

Source: https://gofossilfree.org/indonesian-farmers-and-fishermen-deliver-a-clear-message-to-japan-stop-funding-dirty-coal/

Cirebon I

Source: https://www.power-technology.com/projects/cirebon-coal-fired-power-plant-expansion-west-java/