Selasa , 17 October 2017, 06:33 WIB

Coal-based power plants will harm environment: Campaigner

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
Dhedez Anggara/Antara
Coal shipment. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) noted that the realization of coal production in the first half of 2017 was 139 million tons or only 29.14 percent of the 477 million ton year-long target.
Coal shipment. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) noted that the realization of coal production in the first half of 2017 was 139 million tons or only 29.14 percent of the 477 million ton year-long target.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BENGKULU -- A plan to build some coal-based power plants on Sumatra Island will harm the environment, people, and other life forms in the region, Head of the Kanopi Bengkulu environment foundation Ali Akbar stated here, Monday.

"Coal-based power plants, with a total capacity of 7,500 megawatts (MW), that are planned to be constructed in eight provinces on Sumatra Island will degrade the air quality in the province," Akbar stated in Bengkulu Province, Monday.

Apart from its impact on the environment, the construction of the power plants will hurt the state's economy, as the energy will be generated ineffectively.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan earlier noted that the ministry had stopped the construction of coal-based power plants on Java Island but later decided to divert the development to the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

According to the record of the State Electricity Company (PLN), existing power plants on the island will generate some 8,850 MW, but the demand is only 6,434 MW.

Hence, Akbar said, the island currently has some two thousand MW of surplus energy generated by the existing plants.

"However, the government remains ambitious to add 7,500 MW of additional capacity from the new coal-based power plants by 2019. The PLN may have to purchase the generated electricity, but it would be left unused," he pointed out.

Hence, the campaigners have called on the government to review and halt the development of coal-based power plants on Sumatra Island.

Akbar said the authority should develop more power plants based on renewable sources.

Under the administration of President Joko Widodo, the government has targeted to generate some 35 thousand MW in 2019. However, some critics believe the ambitious target would drive PLN to a state of bankrupcy.

After reviewing the 35-thousand MW power target, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has sent a letter to Energy Minister Jonan, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarmo, and President Director of PLN Sofyan Basir to review the construction of the plants.

Sumber : Antara