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Tanjung Jati A coal-fired power plant, Indonesia


Description:

PLTU Tanjung Jati A, also known as Jawa-3, is a proposed 1,320MW coal-fired power plant (CFPP) with two units (each 660MW) in Pengarengan Village, Cirebon Regency, West Java Indonesia [1][3]. A lawsuit was filed by WALHI against the project at the Bandung State Administrative Court in June 2022 [4]. The defendant of the lawsuit is the head of the West Java Province Regional Investment Agency - Dinas Penanaman Modal dan Pelayanan Terpadu Satu Pintu (DPMPTSP) [4].

The Tanjung Jati A CFPP project is owned by YTL International through its subsidiary YTL Jawa Energy BV (80% ownership) and PT Bakrie & Brothers (20% ownership). The project is expected to be built on more than 230ha of land [5] and cost around USD 2.7 billion [2], [6], the estimate of which increased to USD 2.8 billion as of 2020 [7].

The project was originally proposed in the 1990s. In its first configuration, the project was owned by Bakrie Power (20%) and Maharani Paramitra (20%), Britain's National Power (30%) and Japan's Tomen Power (30%) [1]. In April 2011, after being put on hold for years, it was reported that the project was being revived by Bakrie through working with Samsung Construction & Trading, with a memorandum of agreement signed in February 2011 [1]. In August 2015, YTL Power acquired an 80% share of PT Tanjung Jati Power Company (TJPC), followed by the signing of an amended power purchase agreement (PPA) with PT PLN in December 2015, while the initial PPA was signed in April 1997 [6]. The project forms part of the 35,000MW power plant construction programme launched by President Jokowi in May 2015 [3]. The electricity generated from Tanjung Jati A CFPP upon completion will be sold to PLN at a price of 5.5 cents per kWh [8], [9]. The Tanjung Jati A project was also included in the report “Who is Behind the Power Plant Project?” [9] published by Indonesia Corruption Watch, which unravelled the business-politician ties behind the CFPP projects in Indonesia.

In December 2016, China's Harbin Electric was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Tanjung Jati A power station, with the EPC contract worth over RMB100 million (approx USD14 million) [10]. In August 2020 China Construction Third Engineering Bureau signed an additional EPC contract for the power station, joining Harbin Electric [11]. There was also news that Tianjin Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China Energy Engineering Group Co. Ltd (CEEC), signed a contract for the installation and related projects of the Tanjung Jati A CFPP [12]. According to the RUPTL 2021-2030, Tanjung Jati A’s two units’ commercial operation dates (COD) are expected to be 2025 and 2026 [13]. However, the project has not yet reached financial closure as of 2022. 

As a strategy to halt Tanjung Jati A CFPP, WALHI is suing its environment permit in West Jawa Administrative Court. WALHI filed the lawsuit on grounds of the following reasons[4]: (1) Tanjung Jati A CFPP will contribute to climate change. Based on WALHI’s claim, PLTU Tanjung Jati A will emit 16 million tons of CO2 in a year, which leads to 490 million tons of CO2 throughout its 30-year lifetime (based on its Business License). Because of this, WALHI and its attorneys are of the opinion that the issuance of the Environmental Permits is contrary to the principles in the Law on Environmental Management and Protection and the Law on Government Administration. (2) The construction and operation of the Tanjung Jati A coal-fired power plant has the potential to become a burden to state finances. There is already an oversupply in Java's electricity grid, and the additional electricity production from the Tanjung Jati A CFPP will further increase the excess electricity supply in Java. Therefore, the potential for electricity from the Tanjung Jati A coal-fired power plant to be unabsorbed by consumers is very high. However, PLN is burdened with paying for the electricity produced in accordance with the PPA. On this basis, WALHI and its attorneys view that the issuance of Environmental Permits is contrary to the principles in the Law on Environmental Management and Protection. Before filing this lawsuit, WALHI raised their demands to the head of DPMTPSP West Java, but it was rejected[4]. As a result, WALHI worked with a team of attorneys from LBH Bandung to file the lawsuit [4].

In an interview, the plaintiff's representative, Meiki Paendong, Regional Executive Director of WALHI West Java said “As an environmental organization, we have the mandate to save the people and preserve the environment from projects that threaten the environment and life. Apart from the coal-fired power plant, Tanjung Jati A is one of the carbon emission-producing projects that will contribute to the rate of climate change." [4]

The first court trial took place on 30 June 2022, followed by a court procedure for the plaintiff to present the evidence.

Shortly after the first court trial, PT PLN announced in July 2022 that the Tanjung Jati A (Jawa 3) power plant is officially cancelled [14]. According to PLN, the cancellation could be done because PLTU Jawa 3 (Tanjung Jati A) has never received clear funding [14]. PLN President Director Darmawan Prasodjo initially revealed the cancellation while attending the “Sustainable Finance for Climate Transition Roundtable” discussion in Bali on 14 July 2022 [14]. PLTU Tanjung Jati A is part of the 1.4GW PPA that PLN recently cancelled [14]. This is considered part of PLN’s move to cancel CFPP projects, especially in view of Indonesia’s commitment towards emission reduction and net zero.

Update in November 2022: The Bandung Administrative Court issued a verdict on 13 October 2022, which cancelled the Environmental Permit for the construction of PLTU Tanjung Jati A with 2x660MW and it supporting facilities in Pengarengan Village, Pangenan District, Cirebon Regency. Since the head of the West Java Province DPMPTSP did not appeal the decision of the Bandung Administrative Court until the deadline of 1 November 2022, it is considered that the court decision has permanent legal force [16-19]. As announced by WALHI and LBH Bandung, the defendant must immediately revoke the Environmental Permit in compliance with the court decision. WALHI West Java's representative Meiki Paedong indicated in an interview that the reason that WALHI decided to file the lawsuit was on the ground of both the climate impact of the coal-fired power plants, which has been constantly ignored by the local and central government, while on the other hand there was the concern regarding state finance burdens caused by over-supply of coal-fired power plants as a result of the "take or pay" mechanism [16].

According to LBH Bandung's press release and WALHI's announcement, Anggota Koalisi Rakyat Bersihkan Cirebon (KARBON, People's Coalition to Clean Cirebon) with young members and the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) initiative were also involved in supporting the lawsuit. Mark Chernaik, an expert witness from the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) who gave his opinion at the trial, said that the Tanjung Jati A PLTU would release carbon emissions of 7 million tons of CO2 annually and 220 million tons of CO2 for 30 years, lead to social and economic losses of 6.7-22 trillion Indonesian rupiah (0.43-1.4 billion USD), and as a result cause the death of as many as 754-1554 people every year [16,17]. 

It is worth to note that two important amicus curiae briefs were submitted for this case in support of the plaintiff. On one hand, law academics, including Mark Chernaik, provided support with comparative law argument that climate impact assessment has been a legal obligation in other jurisdictions such as South Africa (with reference to the Thabametsi coal-fired power plant case), and technically doable. On the other hand, Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia Republik Indonesia, Komnas HAM RI) provided support with an amicus brief that drew the connection between human rights and climate change, elaborated on the government’s human rights obligations in mitigating climate change, and supported the plaintiffs’ argument that the government must assess the climate impacts of the new coal plant. The Commission also recommended that the government defendant “take substantive steps to limit GHG emissions and carry out climate change mitigation” and that the national government “take measures to reduce GHG emissions consistent with the 1.5°C goal, including by adopting a moratorium on new coal plant developments.”

This is Indonesia’s first court decision invalidating a carbon intensive project due to failure to assess climate impacts in its environmental assessment, as noted by law professionals Margaretha Quina and Mae Manupipatpong [20]. The result of this lawsuit, which may prevent the climate impact of the coal-fired power plant, was considered as a "success for the people and the environment" [18].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Tanjung Jati A coal-fired power plant, Indonesia
Country:Indonesia
State or province:West Java
Location of conflict:Pengarengan, Pangenan, Cirebon
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
Electricity
Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The 1,320MW Tanjung Jati A coal-fired power plant project was originally proposed in the 1990s. In its first configuration, the project was owned by Bakrie Power (20%) and Maharani Paramitra (20%), Britain's National Power (30%) and Japan's Tomen Power (30%) [1]. In April 2011, after put on hold for years, it was reported that the project was being revived by Bakrie through working with Samsung Construction & Trading, with a memorandum of agreement signed in February 2011 [1]. In August 2015, YTL Power acquired 80% share of PT Tanjung Jati Power Company (TJPC), followed by the signing of an amended power purchase agreement (PPA) with PT PLN in December 2015, while the initial PPA was signed in April 1997 [6]. The project forms part of the 35,000MW power plant construction programme launched by President Jokowi in May 2015 [3]. The electricity generated from Tanjung Jati A CFPP upon completion will be sold to PLN at a price of 5.5 cents per kWh [8].

In December 2016, China's Harbin Electric was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Tanjung Jati A power station, with the EPC contract worth over RMB100 million (approx USD14 million) [9]. In December 2018, Bakrie announced that land acquisition was 99% complete and that construction would begin in 2019 [12]. In August 2020 China Construction Third Engineering Bureau signed an additional EPC contract for the power station, joining Harbin Electric [10]. There was also news that Tianjin Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China Energy Engineering Group Co. Ltd (CEEC), signed a contract for the installation and related projects of the Tanjung Jati A CFPP [11].

In April 2020, a plan was announced to issue sukuk ("sharia compliant" bonds) with a total value of US$2.2 billion in order to finance the plant [15], but there is no update on the financial closure of the project as of 2022. According to the RUPTL 2021-2030, Tanjung Jati A’s two units’ commercial operation dates (COD) are expected to be 2025 and 2026 [12]. In July 2022, the project was officially canceled by PLN [14].

Project area:230
Level of Investment for the conflictive project2,800,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/06/2022
End of the conflict:01/11/2022
Company names or state enterprises:PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) from Indonesia
PT Tanjung Jati Power Company (TJPC) from Indonesia - Responsible for the development of Tanjung Jati A power plant.
YTL Jawa Energy BV from Netherlands - 80% owner of the Tanjung Jati A CFPP
PT Bakrie Power Corporation from Indonesia - Shareholder (20%) of the Tanjung Jati A power plant
Harbin Electric Corporation from China - Contractor of the Tanjung Jati A power plant
China Construction Third Engineering Bureau from China - Contractor of Tanjjung Jati A power plant
China State Construction Engineering (CSCEC) from China - Parent company of one of the contractors
Tianjin Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd from China - One of the contractors of the Tanjung Jati A project
China Energy Engineering Corp Ltd (Energy China, CEEC) from China - Parent company of one of the contractors
YTL Power International from Malaysia - Parent company of YTL Jawa Energy BV, 80% owner of Tanjung Jati A
Relevant government actors:- West Java Province Regional Investment Agency - Dinas Penanaman Modal dan Pelayanan Terpadu Satu Pintu (DPMPTSP)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- WALHI West Java, https://www.walhi.or.id/
- LBH Bandung (Bandung Legal Aid), http://www.lbhbandung.or.id/
- Indonesia Corruption Watch, https://antikorupsi.org/en
- Anggota Koalisi Rakyat Bersihkan Cirebon (KARBON, People's Coalition to Clean Cirebon)
- Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The project was cancelled by the government mainly based on environmental reasons or in response to the lawsuit, but mainly due to financial reasons. However, later the result of the court decision to some extent served the environmental justice claims of NGOs and the local communities to permanently stop the coal-fired power plant and associated environmental, social and climate impact.

Sources & Materials

[1] GEM, “Tanjung Jati A power station,” Global Energy Monitor, Nov. 2021. https://www.gem.wiki/Tanjung_Jati_A_power_station (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.gem.wiki/Tanjung_Jati_A_power_station

[2] “Tanjung Jati A Power Plant, Indonesia,” YTL Construction. https://ytlconstruction.com/activities/infrastructure/#tanjung-jati-a-power-plant (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://ytlconstruction.com/activities/infrastructure/#tanjung-jati-a-power-plant

[3] “YTL Power signs USD2.7 Billion Power Deal in Indonesia,” YTL Community, Dec. 22, 2015. https://www.ytlcommunity.com/shownews.asp?newsID=997 (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.ytlcommunity.com/shownews.asp?newsID=997

[4] “Stop Kontribusi Emisi, Hentikan Proyek PLTU Tanjung Jati A Cirebon,” Urbannews.id, Jul. 05, 2022. https://www.urbannews.id/2022/07/05/stop-kontribusi-emisi-hentikan-proyek-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-cirebon/ (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.urbannews.id/2022/07/05/stop-kontribusi-emisi-hentikan-proyek-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-cirebon/

[5] “TJPC/BP – Tanjung Jati A Power Plant 1320 MW – West Java,” Global Data, Jul. 19, 2017. https://www.globaldata.com/store/report/tjpc-bp-tanjung-jati-a-power-plant-1320-mw-west-java/ (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.globaldata.com/store/report/tjpc-bp-tanjung-jati-a-power-plant-1320-mw-west-java/

[6] “YTL Power to build $2.7bn coal-fired power plant in Indonesia,” NS Energy, Dec. 22, 2015. https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/news/newsytl-power-to-build-27bn-coal-fired-power-plant-in-indonesia-231215-4761283/ (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/news/newsytl-power-to-build-27bn-coal-fired-power-plant-in-indonesia-231215-4761283/

[7] M. Wareza, “Bangun PLTU Tanjung Jati A, BNBR Ngutang Hingga Rp 30 T,” CNBC Indonesia, Dec. 18, 2020. https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/market/20201218135613-17-210067/bangun-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-bnbr-ngutang-hingga-rp-30-t (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/market/20201218135613-17-210067/bangun-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-bnbr-ngutang-hingga-rp-30-t

[8] I. U. Aldin, “Bakrie & Brothers Bangun PLTU Tanjung Jati A Tahun Depan,” Katadata.co.id, Dec. 05, 2018. https://katadata.co.id/happyfajrian/berita/5e9a558d9122c/bakrie-brothers-bangun-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-tahun-depan (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://katadata.co.id/happyfajrian/berita/5e9a558d9122c/bakrie-brothers-bangun-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-tahun-depan

[9] E. Primayogha, F. Ilyas, M. Wasef, and M. I. Taher, “Who is Behind the Power Plant Project?,” 2020. https://www.antikorupsi.org/sites/default/files/dokumen/Who is Behind the Power Plant Project.pdf (accessed Jan. 29, 2021).
https://www.antikorupsi.org/sites/default/files/dokumen/Who is Behind the Power Plant Project.pdf

[10] “HEI Signs Another Contract Valued Over RMB 100 Million at End of 2016,” HEI, Dec. 2016. http://www.china-hei.com/en.php/News/news_1_view/id/2107 (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
http://www.china-hei.com/en.php/News/news_1_view/id/2107

[11] “中建三局签署印尼2x660MW燃煤电站土建合同,” Seetao, Aug. 21, 2020. https://www.seetao.com/details/35963.html (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.seetao.com/details/35963.html

[12] “天津电建签约印尼坦竣A燃煤电站工程,” Seetao, Jul. 18, 2020. https://www.seetao.com/details/31995.html (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.seetao.com/details/31995.html

[13] PT PLN, “RUPTL 2021-2030,” 2021. https://web.pln.co.id/statics/uploads/2021/10/materi-diseminasi-2021-2030-publik.pdf
https://web.pln.co.id/statics/uploads/2021/10/materi-diseminasi-2021-2030-publik.pdf

[14] K. Anam, “Mau Transisi Ogah Rugi,” Tempo, Jul. 23, 2022. https://majalah.tempo.co/read/ekonomi-dan-bisnis/166474/apa-strategi-pln-dalam-transisi-energi (accessed Aug. 09, 2022).
https://majalah.tempo.co/read/ekonomi-dan-bisnis/166474/apa-strategi-pln-dalam-transisi-energi

[15] “Bakrie & Brothers & YTL Corporation will issue sukuk with a total value of US$ 2.2 billion,” IDN Financials, Apr. 01, 2020. https://www.idnfinancials.com/news/33107/bakrie-brothers-ytl-corporation-issue-sukuk-total (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).
https://www.idnfinancials.com/news/33107/bakrie-brothers-ytl-corporation-issue-sukuk-total

[16] LBH Bandung, "Siaran Pers Update Sidang Gugatan Izin Lingkungan PLTU Tanjung Jati A", 15 Sept 2022.
http://www.lbhbandung.or.id/siaran-pers-update-sidang-gugatan-izin-lingkungan-pltu-tanjung-jati-a/

[17] "Lawsuit Granted, Walhi Urges PLTU Tanjung Jati A Cirebon to Close!" Indonesia Posts English, 19 Oct 2022.
https://indonesia.postsen.com/trends/274607/Lawsuit-Granted-Walhi-Urges-PLTU-Tanjung-Jati-A-Cirebon-to-Close.html

[18] Rifat Alhamidi, "Walhi Desak Pemprov Cabut Izin Lingkungan PLTU Tanjung Jati A Cirebon," DetikJabar, 3 Nov 2022.
https://www.detik.com/jabar/berita/d-6385401/walhi-desak-pemprov-cabut-izin-lingkungan-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-cirebon

[19] WALHI, "Kemenangan Warga Cirebon Kian Diteguhkan, ESDM Harus Segera Cabut IUPTL Tanjung Jati A," 2 Nov 2022
https://www.walhi.or.id/kemenangan-warga-cirebon-kian-diteguhkan-esdm-harus-segera-cabut-iuptl-tanjung-jati-a

[20] Margaretha Quina and Mae Manupipatpong, “Indonesian Human Rights Commission’s first human rights complaint on the impacts of climate change”, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law Blog, 22 Nov 2022.
https://blogs.law.columbia.edu/climatechange/2022/11/22/guest-commentary-indonesian-human-rights-commissions-first-human-rights-complaint-on-the-impacts-of-climate-change/

Meta information

Contributor:EnvJustice team and WALHI West Java
Last update24/11/2022
Conflict ID:6111

Images

 

An artist impression of the planned Tanjung Jati A coal-fired power plant

Photo credit: YLT Power/New Strait Times, accessed at https://www.nst.com.my/business/2019/12/549186/ytl-power-sukuk-option-fund-cirebon-job (accessed in August 2022).

Screenshot from RUPTL 2021-2030 regarding the COD of Tanjung JatiA

Photo credit: PT PLN, “RUPTL 2021-2030,” 2021. https://web.pln.co.id/statics/uploads/2021/10/materi-diseminasi-2021-2030-publik.pdf (accessed August 2022)

Representative of the plaintiff of the lawsuit, WALHI West Java executive director - Meiki Paendong

Photo credit: “Stop Kontribusi Emisi, Hentikan Proyek PLTU Tanjung Jati A Cirebon,” Urbannews.id, Jul. 05, 2022. https://www.urbannews.id/2022/07/05/stop-kontribusi-emisi-hentikan-proyek-pltu-tanjung-jati-a-cirebon/ (accessed Aug. 05, 2022).