Cirebon power plant developer request for a permit revision is a disregard to Indonesian law and must not be granted

Bandung, 13 June 2017 - The West Java chapter of environmental organization Wahana Lingkungan Indonesia (WALHI) has formally lodged its feedback to a request made by PT Cirebon Energi Prasarana (PT CEPR), the company behind the development of a new 1000 MW power plant in Cirebon, West Java, to have its environmental permit revised. In the submission made yesterday, WALHI West Java argues that the request is a disregard to an ongoing legal process that concerns the environmental permit and therefore must not be granted. "The environmental permit in question has been the center of an administrative lawsuit. The court found the environmental to be in violation of spatial planning laws and therefore must be revoked. An appeal process is currently underway. That means, no revision may take place until the legal process is completed. The Environment Office of the West Java Provincial Government must refuse the company's request," said Wahyu Widianto, campaign manager of WALHI West Java. The Environmental Permit of PT Cirebon Energi Prasarana has been the subject of a lawsuit put forward by the people negatively affected by the Cirebon power plan developments under case No. 124/G/LH/2016/PTUN-BDG. The verdict was issued by the Administrative Court of Bandung on the 19th of April 2017. In its verdict, the panel of judges stated that the environmental permit issued for the planned 1000 MW Cirebon power plant has failed to meet the local spatial planning requirements and therefore the permit issuer, in this case, the West Java Provincial Government, has to revoke the license. "The company is not the defendant in this case, however it is implicated by the process and, therefore, the request made to the Environment Office in the middle of an unfolding legal process is a blatant disregard for the law and its processes," explained Widianto.

In addition, WALHI questions the basis of the request. In its request, PT CEPR argues that there has been a change to the Cirebon district spatial plan, which provides a basis for the revision of the environmental permit. The revised Cirebon spatial plan is said to be in line with the development plan of Cirebon 1000 MW power plant. However, there has been no public record of such revision. "WALHI has tracked down the supposed revised Cirebon district spatial plan, but neither of the official government sources and websites nor a deep search in the web came up with anything that can prove such revision has been made to the district spatial plan. It is possible that no revision was made and that it was all just a big public lie," said Dwi Sawung, WALHI Indonesia's campaigner for energy and urban issues. Moreover, the violation to the spatial that was the very basis of the court's verdict has also been committed by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a document that precedes and is a basis to the environmental permit. This fact that the EIA violates the spatial plan means that the EIA has to be rejected, deeming the whole project to be environmentally unfit. The fundamental environmental issues that affects the power plant developments cannot just be fixed by revising the environmental permit. WALHI also urges the West Java provincial government and the Cirebon district government to conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) prior to revising the Cirebon district spatial plan as mandated by Law no 32 year 2009 on the Environment. The law stipulates that every development program needs to be in line with sustainable development and integrated into the local spatial plan. For more information, please contact:

  • Wahyu Widianto / +62 81320423076 (WALHI West Java)
  • Dwi Sawung / +62 8156104606 (WALHI Indonesia