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Walhi's North Sumatra Lawsuit Denied, Construction of Batangtoru Batang Toru Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP) Continued

Kompas.com
06 March 2019

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2019/03/05/07590761/gugatan-walhi-sumut-ditolak-pembangunan-plta-batangtoru-dilanjutkan?utm_campaign=Dlvrit&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social#komentar

MEDAN CONTRIBUTOR, MEI LEANDHA Kompas.com

05/03/2019, 07:59 Western Indonesia Time  

Reporter: Medan Contributors, Mei Leandha      Editor: Khairina

The Vice President of Communications and Social Affairs of PT NSHE Firman Taufick appreciated the decision of the Medan State Administrative Court (PTUN) judge who rejected all of Walhi's North Sumatra lawsuit against Batang Toru Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP) on Monday (03/04/2019) (KOMPAS.com / MEI LEANDHA)

MEDAN, KOMPAS.com - The judges of the Medan State Administrative Court (PTUN) chaired by Jimmy Claus Pardede decided to reject all claims filed by the North Sumatra Indonesian Environmental NGOs Forum (WALHI). According to the judge, this decision was based on evidence and statements of witnesses at the trial. "Stating that the defendant's exception was not accepted and rejected the plaintiff's claim in its entirety, and sentenced the plaintiff to pay court fees," Jimmy said while tapping the hammer on Monday (03/04/2019). Also read: Stop Mining Permits in Batang Toru Forest, Vice President of Communications and Social Affairs of PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (PT NSHE), Firman Taufick appreciated the judge's decision. It will continue the development of the Batang Toru Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP) because this project is an essential project that is very much needed. "Both North Sumatra, Indonesia, perhaps more than that is also the world. Why? Because this is one of the hydroelectric plants with a large enough capacity of 510 megawatts," Firman said at a press conference in Medan on Monday afternoon. He said, for almost four months following the trial process, his party received a lot of input from environmental activists and PT NSHE was open to jointly create a mitigation program. Batang Toru Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP), according to him, has carried out a study of recommendations on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). This is what makes Batang Toru Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP) the first in Indonesia to implement the Equatorial Principle. "Alhamdulillah, all the procedures that we have carried out in the context of obtaining an AMDAL permit are correct, we have passed it," said Firman. Mentioned that Walhi North Sumatra will appeal and present new evidence, Firman said, the appeal process is a natural thing in the legal process. However, he reminded that the institution that faced the plaintiff was not PT NSHE. "This is between Walhi and the Governor of North Sumatra, we are actually not directly related. Maybe this question is more relevant if it is addressed to the government of North Sumatra Province. What will they prepare if they face the appeal process," he added. "Maybe one more thing is, what is the term, yes ... which will be analyzed, tested, examined by the court. I think it is still because this is the form of the Administrative Court, it is administrative and procedural related. I see ..." he continued. Also read: Two Farmers Sinking in Koto Panjang Hydroelectric Reservoir in Riau Regarding reports of alleged forgery of documents and signatures on the PT NSHE AMDAL document in North Sumatra Regional Police's Direskrimsus, Firman said, could not make a direct response. "We will wait for all the processes that the police will carry out regardless of results. We as Indonesians are subject to legal decisions and provisions. We invite all parties who have concern for Batangtoru to contribute to making concrete programs to keep the Batangtoru ecosystem good for us all, "he said. Firman explained, the Batang Toru hydropower uses hydro technology, namely water as energy to generate electricity. Indonesia has promised and ratified the Paris agreement to participate in climate change programs, one of which is by using renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels. The impact of this project for the simplest and most quantifiable environment is a reduction in carbon emissions of 1.6 to 2.2 megatons of carbon dioxide per year. "This is equal to four percent of Indonesia's energy sector target in 2030. For North Sumatra it will have a significant impact because based on data from the World Resources Institute, North Sumatra is one of the highest emission producing provinces in Indonesia," he said.

For North Sumatra, the important presence of the Batang Toru Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP) is to meet the replacement needs of the Diesel Power Plant (PLTD), especially during peak loads. Firman's calculation, 510 megawatts if converted to rupiah and the comparison of PLTD can provide efficiency of 400 million dollars per year.

"The point is we are concerned about the environment, functionally will replace the function of PLTD in North Sumatra, and hope that it will have a direct impact on the economy and energy for the people in North Sumatra," said Firman.

Disappointment

The decision of the Medan PTUN judge who rejected all of Walhi's North Sumatra licensing suit was very painful. The attorney team assessed that the judges only thought procedurally. Then, the judge did not consider the fact witnesses and experts to prove the arguments of the lawsuit.

Then, the judge did not consider the fact witnesses and experts to prove the arguments of the lawsuit. "For us this is disappointing and its considerations do not reflect the principle of justice, we will think about the appeal," said one of the attorneys of Walhi Sumut Padian Adi. The Batang Toru hydropower was built by PT NSHE and planned to operate in 2022. Through registers Number 110 / G / LH / 2018 / PTUN-MDN.  Walhi North Sumatra sued Governor's Decree Number 660/50 / DPMPPTSP / 5 / IV.1 / I / 2017 concerning Changes in Environmental Permits Plans for Construction of the Batang Toru Hydro Electric Power Plant (HEPP) from a capacity of 500 MW to 510 MW and changes in the Quarry location in The Regency of South Tapanuli, North Sumatra by PT NSHE dated January 31, 2017. After 18 meetings, the institution was 'knocked out' against the judge's decision.

 

Authors: Medan Contributors, Mei Leandha

Editor: Khairina

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