Plans to expand a coal-fired power plant on Bali’s north coast threaten one of the island’s best-loved beaches and West Bali National Park

Press release - April 16, 2018
Bali, Indonesia 16 April 2018. Local people in Buleleng District, Bali, are contesting plans to expand the Celukan Bawang coal-fired power plant on the island’s north coast.

Emissions from the power plant already pollute the area and cause health problems for local people. Greenpeace Indonesia has reported villagers’ testimonies on an increase in respiratory problems in their families, and the loss of their livelihoods because of falling catches and reduced crop yields. The new proposal to expand the plant would add two 330 MW coal-fired units , more than doubling the size of the plant and the pollution it generates.

“These expansion plans must not be allowed to go ahead,” said Dewa Putu Adnyana, from Indonesia Legal Aid, or LBH, Bali. “We are now running a lawsuit to stop the project, there has been no public consultation about the expansion plans, which are being pushed through without many of the environmental impact assessments that the law demands”.

“Bali is a precious jewel for Indonesia, which should be cherished and protected, not destroyed with pollution.  So many livelihoods will be lost when emissions from this coal plant spread over the area. Expanding the Celukan Bawang plant is a betrayal of the Balinese people by the governor of Bali that has given his approval for this project”, said Didit Haryo, climate and energy campaigner Greenpeace Indonesia.

It is not only local farming and fishing communities which will suffer if this expansion goes ahead.  The Celukan Bawang plant is only 20 km from Lovina Beach, a popular tourist area famed for its black sand beaches, coral reefs and dolphins.  The dolphins in particular will be impacted by increased ship traffic and noise from ship engines.  Increased pollution could drive tourists away, affecting the livelihoods of all who work in the sector.

The coal plant also poses a risk to the West Bali National Park, the home of endangered and protected species including the Javanese leopard, the pangolin and the Bali starling which are all critically endangered.  It is inevitable that emissions from the plant will pollute this beautiful area.

“Coal is not the power source of the future,” said Didit Haryo.

The existing coal plant was developed by a group of companies, including China Huadian Engineering Co, Ltd (CHEC), Merryline International Pte. Ltd (MIP) and PT General Energy Indonesia (GEI), with approximate total investment reaching 700 million USD, supported by China Development Bank. Domestically, China has suffered terrible air pollution from its reliance on coal. As China undergoes an energy transition away from coal at home and shows the world what renewable energy can deliver, Chinese companies and banks should also aim to accelerate the energy transition overseas by investing more in renewables and less in coal.

Last year alone China installed enough solar capacity to generate more than a quarter of Indonesia’s annual power demand.

“This needs to be our future too. Bali will only survive and thrive as a tourist destination if it has clean, sustainable energy, not the polluting emissions of a coal plant like Celukan Bawang”, said Didit Haryo.

Editor’s note:

Link to report: Celukan Bawang Coal Fired Power Plant Polluting Paradise

Media contact :

  • Didit Haryo Wicaksono, Climate and Energy Campaigner Greenpeace Indonesia, +62 813-1981-5456
  • Dewa Putu Adnyana, Legal Aid Foundation Bali, +62813-3844-0652
  • Rahma Shofiana, Media Campaigner Greenpeace Indonesia, +62811-1461-674