Activists stop work at SE Asia’s biggest coal plant

Environmental protestors today stopped construction for 13 hours at Southeast Asia’s biggest planned coal plant. The activists, from green groups Greenpeace Indonesia, WALHI and Jatam, are demanding the Indonesian Government cancels the […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Environmental protestors today stopped construction for 13 hours at Southeast Asia’s biggest planned coal plant.

The activists, from green groups Greenpeace Indonesia, WALHI and Jatam, are demanding the Indonesian Government cancels the 2,000MW Batang coal power plant project and that the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) withdraws its financial support.

Twelve of the environmentalists unfurled giant banners and occupied heavy equipment at the site, supported by a flotilla of about 100 local fishers who joined the blockade.

The action hopes to support local communities which have opposed the project for five years because of its impact on agricultural land and waters – they say the power won’t help them and will be used for industry.

Many of these people have taken legal action, participated in hearings with various government agencies and even sent representatives to Japan to directly meet with investors.

Arif Fiyanto, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said: “Not only will this coal plant destroy the local environment, it will pollute our air and contribute to the 6,500 premature deaths in Indonesia every year linked to air pollution from burning coal.

“Indonesia must break its addiction to fossil fuels and banks such as JBIC must stop financing dirty coal projects.”

Earlier this week in the UK, protestors blockaded a quarry owned by a fracking supplier in Lancashire.