Saturday, 20 Safar 1441 / 19 October 2019

Saturday, 20 Safar 1441 / 19 October 2019

PT NSHE claims its project not disturb orangutan habitat

Senin 04 Mar 2019 21:59 WIB

Rep: Maman Sudiaman, Idealisa Masyarafina/ Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Batangtoru hydroelectric power plant project.

Batangtoru hydroelectric power plant project.

Foto: dok. PT NSHE
PT NSHE to build hydropower plant that could produce electricity of 510 megawatts.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE) claimed that construction of the Batangtoru hydroelectric power plant project would not disturb the habitat of Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis). As the company responsible for the project, NSHE only occupied 122 hectares of 163 thousand hectares total area permitted by the government.

Furthermore, the environmental advisor of PT NSHE, Agus Joko Ismanto, explained that Tapanuli orangutan usually inhabit areas located 700 below sea level (asl). "While location of our project is above 400 asl," he told reporters recently.

However, Agus did not dismiss concern that the Chinese-funded hydroelectric power plant project worth 1.6 billion dollars could damage the environment. According to him, various scientific studies have been carried out by involving a number of universities.

"We also prepare a long-term research and research area on 32 hectares of land for conservation of ecosystem in Batangtoru," he said.

Meanwhile, according to Senior Executive for External Relations PT NSHE, Firman Taufik, the Batangtoru hydropower project was not spacious. He said the project that could produce 510 megawatts electricity estimated to cut the use of diesel power plants. So, he said, this project would help to reduce carbon emissions set by the government by 29 percent in 2030.

photo
Members of Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) North Sumatra stage a rally to protest funding of Batangtoru hydroelectric power plant in front of Chinese Consulate in Medan, North Sumatra, Friday (March 1).

"This project contributes to reduction of 1.6 mega tons per year or around 4 percent of the national target and will save foreign exchange around 400 million dollar AS per year," he said.

Construction of Batangtoru hydroelectric power plant project has gained critics since last year. On Friday (March 1), a rally was held in front of Chinese Consulate and several days later similar action carried out by Walhi (Indonesian Environmental Forum) North Sumatra in front of the Bank of China office. The environmentalists said the project would bring negative impacts to the environment, especially to population of the last 800 Tapanuli orangutan.

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