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 . 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 .
In 2013 plans were released to expand the facility by adding another coal-fired unit – Cirebon II – with a capacity of 1 GW . 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   .
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 . Air pollution is affecting rice yields, and villagers suffer from respiratory problems due to reduced air quality  . 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 .
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 . Additionally, villagers and ENGOs have sent several formal complaint letters to JBIC and the commercial lenders, without receiving any response . 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  . 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  .
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   However, after having appealed, PT CEPR regained its permit . The legal battle is still on-going, since a number of NGOs continue to send review letters questioning the issuing of the permit . 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 .