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Mega power plant project gets green light

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World Coal,

Despite the attempts of environmentalists to force the government to reconsider, Indonesia plans to begin the mega coal-fired power plant project in Batang, Central Java province with a capacity of 2000 Mega Watt (MW).

The environmentalist protests centred on the fact that the project contradicted the nation's target to reduce carbon emission.

To be conducted by President Joko Widodo, inauguration of Batang power plant project's groundbreaking was scheduled for next month.

"The project was cleared to commence after it obtained a legal opinion issued by the attorney general," the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs commented.

The project has been delayed since 2011 due to wide-scale opposition from local residents of the project site due to compensation issues and the fear that operation of the major coal-fired power plant would damage the environment where they earn their living.

The Batang mega power plant project was designed to supply more electricity to Indonesia's densely-populated islands of Java, Bali and Madura that host most of the nation's manufacturing plants. Due to the opposition and legal issues, operation of the project was rescheduled to 2018 from the initial plan of 2014.

Greenpeace has argued that emission from Batang power plant project would potentially worsen the impact of climate change, and its pollution would endanger the health of people residing around the project site.

Greenpeace said that the project would emit 10.8 million t of carbon emission, to produce 200 kilograms of mercury waste per year respectively.

"It's about the time now for President Joko Widodo to lead energy revolution in the world by taking sustainable environmental- friendly technologies available in the country rather than picking coal technology that apparently has contributed the most to climate change," said Arif Fiyanto, Greenpeace Indonesia Energy and Climate Change Campaigner.

Earlier this month President Widodo inaugurated the start of power plant projects with total capacity of 35 000 MW within the next five years.

"This mega power plant program is achievable as it would be supported by detailed and well-planned programs, facilitated by simplified regulation," President Widodo commented.

Indonesia's total power supply capacity now stands at 53 585 MW, with power need growth was recorded at an average of 9% per year. The current government has set electrification ratio to 96% across the nation by 2019. The nation saw 84.95% of the ratio accomplished last year.

Edited from source by Joseph GreenSource: xinhuanet

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