Air Quality, Health and Economic Impact Assessment of the Jambi-1 Coal Power Plant

PLTU Jambi-1 is a proposed 2 x 300 MW independent power producer (IPP) coal-fired power plant in Sarolangun, Jambi, Indonesia that will burn low-rank coal reserves on the Sumatra grid. 

The formal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA, or AMDAL) and its environmental permit was granted in 2019. CREA’s assessment found multiple shortcomings in the AMDAL, including lack of a quantitative assessment of the health impacts and the toxic deposition impacts, and the application of outdated air pollutant emissions standards.

While a power purchase agreement (PPA) has reportedly been arranged for the project, the equity investments necessary to financially close the project have yet to be secured. With China’s pledge to “stop building new coal power plants abroad,” the plant will likely face difficulties getting built as coal financing dries up. Notably, Indonesia’s most recent long-term energy plan (2021-2030 RUPTL) postponed the project’s completion date to 2027. 

Our air quality, health and economic impact assessment of the plant also found that the plant has been allowed to use lenient 2008 air pollutant emissions limits. This would allow the plant to emit approximately 12,800 tonnes of SO2, 12,800 tonnes of NOx, and 1,700 tonnes of particulate matter every year. If the plant was required to meet the 2019 emission standards, annual emissions would drop by 73% to 3,400 tons of SO2 and NOx, and 860 tons of PM every year.

Even with the 2019 emission limits, the plant will harm air quality and human health – all of which can be avoided.

Download the report in English and in Bahasa Indonesia.

ERRATUM: An earlier version of this report incorrectly listed China Huadian as a developer on the Jambi-1 project. While the company signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for Jambi-2 project, it is not connected to the Jambi-1 coal plant, which is the focus of this assessment.

Isabella Suarez (Southeast Asia Analyst), Lauri Myllyvirta (Lead Analyst), Lorenzo Costantino (Air Quality Analyst)