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Walhi’s Lawsuit is Dismissed, The Bandung State Administrative Court Upholds the Environmental License of Cirebon II PLTU

Walhi’s Lawsuit is Dismissed, The Bandung State Administrative Court Upholds the Environmental License of Cirebon II PLTU

The Panel of Judges in the Bandung State Administrative Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by Walhi relating to the Environmental License for the Construction and Operation of a Steam -Fired Power Plant with a Capacity of 1 x 1,000 MW in Cirebon. The Panel of Judges upheld Environmental License issued by the Capital Investment and One-Stop Integrated Service Agency of West Java Province No. 660/08/ to PT Cirebon Energi Prasarana, dated July 17, 2017 (“Object of the Lawsuit”).

In their ruling, the Panel of Judges states that in principle, the court does not have any authority to examine, rule on or resolve the case because the Object of the Lawsuit issued by Defendant I (the Capital Investment and One-Stop Integrated Service Agency of West Java Province – DPMPTSP) is not a state administrative decision that can be tried by a State Administrative Court.

The Panel of Judges issued its ruling based on Article 2(e) of Law No. 5 of 1986 on State Administrative Courts, as lastly amended by Law No. 9 of 2004 and Law No. 51 of 2009 (“PTUN Law”), in which the Object of the Lawsuit in this case is a result of the implementation of a court decision which is already final and binding (the decision on Case No. 124).

In addition, the Panel of Judges stated that the Object of the Lawsuit has in line with the spatial plan and area (RTRW) issued by the central government under Government Regulation No. 13/2017 on Amendments to Government Regulation No. 26 of 2008 on the National Spatial Plan which was issued on 12 April 2017 (“GR No.13/2017”), particularly its Article 114A. Matters relating to the spatial plan and area were had been ruled previously (case No.124), in which the Panel of Judges for Case No.124 considered to revoke the Environmental License under the basis that such Environmental License covers Mundu District, while under Regional Regulation of Cirebon Regency No.17/2011, Mundu District was not designated for the development of PLTUs.

On such spatial plan issue, the Panel of Judges accepted that the Cirebon II PLTU project has a national strategic value, and/or a significant impact as defined under Presidential Regulation No. 3 of 2016 and Presidential Regulation No. 4 of 2016 as amended, lastly under Presidential Regulation No. 14 of 2017. Therefore, under Article 114A of GR No.13/2017, the spatial plan should refer to GR No.13/2017, and under its Attachment VA, Cirebon Regency is designated as area which may be allocated to develop PLTUs.

For the above reasons, the Panel of Judges declares the Lawsuit filed by the Plaintiffs is inadmissible and referring to Article 77 of PTUN Law, the Panel of Judges also declares that the Bandung State Administrative Court does not have authority to examine and rule on the case because the object of the lawsuit is not one that can be contested in a State Administrative Court.

President Director of PT Cirebon Energi Prasarana, Heru Dewanto, as Defendant II Intervention also appreciates this decision. Heru feels that the ruling of the Bandung State Administrative Court is a breeze of fresh air for the construction of electric power infrastructure in Indonesia. According to Heru, the government’s issuing GR No.13/2017 is a legal breakthrough which will have a significant benefit for the construction of the nation’s infrastructure, including National Strategic Projects. Parties who would like to disrupt National Strategic Projects have questionable motives and/or a bad intention to cause disruptions to government programs. All parties should support the government programs because the main goal is to benefit the public.

“The decision of the judges in this case should be a positive precedent for other national strategic projects which are being hindered due to inconsistencies in the RTRW between central government and the regional governments” said Heru.

This power plant uses Ultra Super Critical (USC) boiler technology which is a clean coal technology with high efficiency rating and low emissions (High Efficiency Low Emission/HELE). With a higher combustion temperature and higher pressure, it will achieve an efficiency rating of up to 40%. This PLTU will later strengthen the Java-Bali interconnection system with capacity of 7.533 GwH per year. The already existing Unit I (660MW), owned by Cirebon Power, which became operational in 2012, also uses clean coal technology (super critical).

At this moment, the construction of the project has reached 12.71% of the total process which is scheduled to take 51 months. Cirebon Power is optimistic that the construction of Unit II PLTU will meet its COD (commercial operation date) target in 2022. Previously, Cirebon Power completed the financial close in November 2017. The construction of the Cirebon Unit II PLTU is being financed by JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation), KEXIM (Korea Eximbank) and NEXI (Nippon Export and Investment Insurance).

With investment value of US$2.2 billion, this project will provide job opportunities to thousands of people and open up business and services opportunities which will accelerate economic growth and development in Cirebon Regency. Cirebon Power is now preparing an Electricity Vocational Center, the first in Indonesia, which will provide education for skilled workers and experts in electricity, particularly in the field of operation and maintenance (O&M) of clean coal fired power plants.

Cirebon Power